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Dana White insists Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier won’t be for title: ‘Khabib’s going to fight’

LAS VEGAS – UFC president Dana White is still banking on Khabib Nurmagomedov fighting again.

Lightweight champion Nurmagomedov (29-0 MMA, 13-0 UFC), who hung up his gloves after submitting Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October, left the division’s top contenders hoping to vy for the title.

But White is confident Nurmagomedov will return to seek the big 30-0 record, which is why a belt won’t be on the line in the pivotal main event clash between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on Jan. 23.

“No, Khabib’s going to fight,” White said at a post-fight news conference. “I believe he’s going to. (McGregor-Poirier is) not for the title.”

Nurmagomedov hasn’t withdrawn from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s UFC drug testing program yet and was even recently tested, which makes White think that he’s not ready to walk away just yet.

“I told you guys that I think he’s going to go to 30 (wins),” White said. “If he’s still testing – why the hell would you want to test still if you’re not going to fight?

“He hasn’t committed, but I feel like he’s going to, and I’m not really pushing him. We talked about it and he just fought. Let him take some time, spend some time with his family, spend the holidays. There’s no rush.”

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