UFC lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed he is in talks to headline a UFC event in the United Arab Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi in September, as well as the name of his potential opponent.
Nurmagomedov, who had his annual meet and greet session with students of Plekhanov Russian University of Economics on Tuesday, took time to answer questions from journalists after the event, including from RT Sport about the rumors of a possible fight in Abu Dhabi in September.
"Yes, we are working on this," Nurmagomedov confirmed. "UFC told me that they are working on this. I just came back from Dubai. And very soon news is coming. Very soon," he added.
According to the UFC champ, the main stumbling block to finalize the deal is the suspensions of teammate and UFC featherweight Zubaira Tukgugov, and cousin Abubakar Nurmagomedov, who are both currently serving a one-year ban for their involvement in the infamous post-fight brawl with Conor McGregor and his team after the UFC 229 main event.
"[Tukgugov and Abubakar] either have to fight with me on the same event or before me, it is the main term of my comeback," he said.
It's a principal issue for me and I won't step back
The 30-year-old also confirmed that he will face the winner of Max Holloway v Dustin Poirier, who are set to face each other in the UFC 236 main event in Atlanta, Georgia, for the interim lightweight title.
"[Holloway and Poirier] are fighting for the interim belt, and the champion has to face the interim champion. Tony Ferguson can't fight at the moment, (Georges) St-Pierre is retired, McGregor is retired, a boxing match with Mayweather is not happening as we couldn't come to an agreement with UFC. Holloway and Poirier are great fighters, I will fight the winner of this bout."