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Khabib Nurmagomedov set to meet Dana White, says Dustin Poirier ‘deserves to be champion’

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov restated his intention not to hold up the 155-pound division, but also revealed that things still haven’t been fully agreed with regard to his, or the division’s immediate future.

Nurmagomedov spoke at length to Match TV in Russia, where he laid out his thoughts on the UFC lightweight division, and his hopes for the year ahead at 155 pounds. He also revealed that he’s set for another meeting with UFC president Dana White, and has already messaged him regarding his own fighting future.

“I’m focused on my own big projects, four or five of them. I have to spend time on them,” he said (via RT Sport translation). “As for my career as a fighter, I don’t want to go into details. Dana’s an honest person, we always had an honest relationship. I think he’ll let the media know the message that I sent him a week ago.

“It’s not a secret, I just told him how I’d like things to develop, not only related to me, but the lightweight division in general. I told him I don’t want the division to be held up. But, on the other hand, fighters have only just been in action and people already understand in general who we’ll see fighting for the title. I know they’re already making plans, I think for around May or June, for a title fight. But between who?”

Nurmagomedov also appeared to suggest that White hasn’t fully given up on trying to lure him back to the cage, with the UFC boss planning a final meeting between the pair to nail down what’s next for the Russian.

“Dana told me he isn’t done yet. I can say that,” Nurmagomedov said. “When I told him the lightweight division needs to move on, he told me he isn’t done. He said to me, ‘When you fly to Vegas at the end of February, we’ll sit down and talk.’ Dana needs to make some kind of decision. But whatever the decision, I’ll agree with it.”

As for the lightweight division itself, Nurmagomed said he’s keen to see things move on, and stated that former interim champion Dustin Poirier is the most worthy candidate to hold the championship belt moving forward.

“Poirier deserves to be champion, that’s my personal opinion,” he said “Look at who he’s fought. Jim Miller, Eddie Alvarez, Anthony Pettis, Max Holloway. He’s fought me, Conor . These are all top fighters, maybe fighters who will end up in the UFC Hall of Fame. I think intrigue will appear in the lightweight division as soon as they decide the title fight and eliminator.”

“At the moment, it’s held up and not clear what Dana’s thinking. I think it’s going to be on fire in the lightweight division this summer. The lightweight division has always been the most competitive, the most interesting, with big stars. It will take new turns this summer. A new, younger, generation is already coming, plus there’s Chandler, Oliviera, Poirier, Gaethje, a lot of good fighters. With that mix, it will be interesting this summer and towards the end of the year.”

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