Since UFC 229 went down, things have been a little tense between Khabib Nurmagomedov and the promotion, but recently Dana White claimed everything’s all “good”. So what’s the takeaway here?
As you know, the main cause for tension between Khabib and the UFC, is due to the post-fight brawl that went down, after he submitted Conor McGregor. At first there was widespread talk that the UFC might strip Khabib of the lightweight crown, but it wasn’t long before White put the brakes on that speculation.
But, the more pressing issue has been in regards to the expectation, Zubaira Tukhugov is going to be cut by the UFC, as a result of allegedly attacking McGregor during the post-fight brawl. Nurmagomedov has said if that happens, he’s walking away from the UFC. Adding fuel to the fire is a recent report that Michael Johnson will likely replace Tukhugov against Artem Lobov, October 27th.
“We’re good. We’re good with Khabib,” White said. “You guys are still posting that (expletive). That was a week ago. That was a week ago. A lot happens in a week in this business.”
“I know what he said, but that was a week ago,” White said, when asked specifically about the Tukhugov situation, and Khabib’s statements. “This will all work out.”
“Yeah, no, we’re good. We worked it out. We’re going to get everything worked out. Obviously, he was a little upset, a little fired up. And, yeah, we’ll get it all worked out.”
Now, what can we take away from all this? Well, of course there’s a chance that White’s downplaying how upset Khabib still is, and that things really aren’t very solid between the two camps. But, you would think that if tensions were still really high, then White wouldn’t have been so adamant things are going to “work out”. Further, White stopped short of saying Tukhugov will never fight for the UFC again. So that’s a bit of departure from what he said immediately after UFC 229.
Another interesting takeaway here was that when asked about a rematch with Conor, White referred to Khabib’s potential issues with the commission etc, and didn’t commit either way. That doesn’t mean, of course, the UFC’s not going to pursue an immediate rematch. But, this is another instance now, where White has had the opportunity to begin campaigning for that fight, and hasn’t.