UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has been handed a nine month suspension and a $500,000 fine from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for the role he played in the UFC 229 post-fight brawl.
It has been over a week since the suspension was issued, but UFC President Dana White has yet to speak with the lightweight champion.
“I hear these things, but Khabib hasn’t told me that (he’s going to sit out),” White told MMA Junkie. “I hear these things in the media and things like that. I haven’t heard it from Khabib, so when we talk, we’ll figure it out and we’ll see what happens.”
Nurmagomedov has stated that he will return to action this November at the annual Madison Square Garden card, but nothing is set in stone at this time.
The UFC President states that when Nurmagomedov does return to action, a likely opponent is former UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson.
“Of course Tony deserves it,” White said. “He’s the No. 1 contender. He’s the guy. That’s the fight.”
Ferguson and Nurmagomedov were booked against each other multiple times now, but the bouts always fell apart. Nurmagomedov also believes the UFC would book Ferguson against Dustin Poirier for an interim title, but nothing has been announced yet by the promotion.