UFC 257 was a key night for the company's lightweight division.
In the main event, Dustin Poirier pulled off an upset over Conor McGregor, while new recruit Michael Chandler looked fantastic in his UFC debut against Dan Hooker.
Leading into the pay-per-view, Khabib Nurmagomedov had told UFC president Dana White that he wanted to wait and see how the top two fights on the card played out before making a decision on whether to come out of retirement.
Speaking at the post-fight press conference for the event, White told reporters that he had spoken to the Russian superstar, but revealed that Khabib was not overly impressed by any of his potential opponents on the night.
"I did talk to Khabib. And he said to me, 'Dana be honest with yourself. I'm so many levels above these guys...I beat these guys'."
When pressed on whether this meant that Khabib was now officially retired, White was hesitant to give a definitive answer.
"I don't know. It doesn't sound very positive so we'll see," said White.
"He won't hold the division up... I mean he already retired. I'm the one that's been trying to get him to do one more."
However, White has not yet completely thrown the towel in on convincing Khabib to return, refusing to put any firm deadline on when he would need a decision from the UFC lightweight champion.
"It doesn't matter because these two (Poirier and Chandler) just fought. They are not gonna fight again any time soon."
White did, though, admit that Poirier and Chandler were the two men most likely to meet for the vacant 155-pound title if Khabib sticks to his retirement vow and officially vacates the championship.
Although Poirier put on a career-best performance in stopping McGregor on Saturday night at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, Khabib already holds a definitive victory over 'The Diamond' having defeated him by submission in September 2019. It appears that Khabib has no motivation to run that fight back, or face off with former Bellator champion Chandler.
It seems likely that any real interest that Khabib may have had in a comeback lay in a rematch with bitter rival McGregor.
"The Eagle" tweeted immediately after the fight to mock some of McGregor's choices in terms of his training camp, accusing him of opting to spar with "little kids, far away from reality."
For now, any rematch with McGregor looks to be firmly off the table - as does the prospect of Khabib returning to the Octagon.News Now - Sport News