UFC are planning to book Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Max Holloway if he beats Dustin Poirier at UFC 236.
Nurmagomedov is currently serving a nine-month suspension for his actions after his main-event bout against Conor McGregor at UFC 229.
But he’s set to return to the famed Octagon in September.
UFC president Dana White confirmed he’s in line to fight before the end of the year.
“He’ll be back in September,” he said. “It’s one of the things with him anyways, he’s on suspension and then he doesn’t fight during Ramadan. That puts him at September.”
And his opponent appears to be lined up.
Nurmagomedov will fight Holloway if he claims UFC gold this weekend. The Hawaiian faces Poirier at UFC 236 for the interim-UFC lightweight title.
Well, that’s according to Ariel Helwani who also reports the championship bout will take place in Abu Dhabi.
Nurmagomedov, 30, made the first defence of his 155 lbs belt against McGregor in October to improve his perfect professional record to 27-0.
Holloway, on the other hand, will be looking to become a two-weight UFC champion (albeit a interim belt) versus Poirier.
He’s riding an impressive 13-fight win streak which includes not one but TWO scalps over Jose Aldo. He most recently beat Brian Ortega in December.
Meanwhile, Holloway has already talked up a fight opposite Nurmagomedov.
“Khabib said he wanted to fight me, but he wanted me to prove myself,” he said in a pre-fight press conference.
“I got Dustin. April 13, I decided to prove myself. I’m going to go out there and prove myself, and when he’s ready to come back, I’ll be ready.”
Holloway vs. Poirier isn’t the only belt on the line at UFC 236. Kelvin Gastelum meets Israel Adesanya for the interim-UFC middleweight title.