Dana White has recently announced that current titleholder Khabib will not be allowed to hold onto his title while sitting out until November 2019.
It all started with the UFC 229 post-fight rumble that occurred in October of 2018 when Khabib managed to defeat McGregor by making him tap out in the fourth round. After the fight, Khabib and his teammates attacked one of the trainers working with McGregor due to some comments me made before the event.
Both Khabib and McGregor were suspended and fined for their part in the chaos. Khabib got the biggest share of the blame along with a 9-month suspension and a fine of half a million dollars while McGregor only receives a six month suspension and $50,000 in fines.
The board also announced that each of Khabib’s teammates will receive a fine of $25,000 and they’ll both be suspended for a year. This is what forced Khabib to take drastic measures and take himself out of fighting until his teammates are allowed back in the octagon.
Dana White not Allowing it
Since Khabib is the current title holder, it would have serious effects on the possible fights for the year ahead. Not only do people want to see Khabib take on the best fighters, but others such as Ferguson are interested in taking him on to win the title.
Therefore, Dana White and recently made it known that Khabib won’t be able to sit on the side lines and hold onto the title until he decides to return. She did not mention what the possible steps would entail, but from what we understand, Khabib would ultimately lose the title, at least until he returns. Alternatively, he would lose the title for good and needs to take on the championship at the title of his return to the octagon.
This would allow White and the rest of the MMA board to line up various title fights, including Tony Ferguson and Dustin Poirier who are both interested in a match for the title. We might even see McGregor take on the title once again as he was the holder before Khabib, which would mean we’ll see him return to the octagon for a series of fights again.
For now, Khabib or his manager has not commented on the announcement, making it rather unclear as to what would happen in the months to come. There are loads of rumours, most guessing Khabib would return to defend the title while other firmly believe he wouldn’t give in with the harsh punishment given to his teammates.
Either way, MMA for 2019 is bound to be one with loads of excitement as we once again see a lineup of fighters really to complete and claim the title. We might even see a few money fights if Khabib returns and Mayweather and Khabib have been considering a fight.