Dana White Shares Plan to Get Khabib Nurmagomedov to Return to UFC

Dana White

Getty Khabib Nurmagomedov & Dana White

UFC president Dana White shared a plan that could hopefully end up with Khabib Nurmagomedov returning to the promotion.

White was featured on Barstool Sport’s “The Spinnin’ Backfist MMA Show‘ podcast to talk about the promotion’s upcoming UFC 275 pay-per-view event. And during the interview, White was asked about filming a season of “The Ultimate Fighter” with Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson as coaches.

Ferguson brought up the idea last month, and Nurmagomedov, who retired as the reigning UFC lightweight champion in 2020, shared his interest as well.

Well, the UFC president won’t shy away from trying to make it happen. And he hopes that a season of the two facing off could lead to the bitter rivals fighting inside the Octagon.

“Do you like it?” White questioned one of the podcast’s hosts, Robbie Fox, about the potential coaching battle.

“I like it,” Fox answered.

“So, you’re telling me that you guys as fans, media, whatever it might be, like the idea of two guys possibly coaching that wouldn’t fight each other?” White asked.

Fox then said “The Ultimate Fighter” season with Conor McGregor and Urijah Faber was “awesome.” The two coached against each other during the franchise’s 22nd season, however they never fought each other.

Taking a moment to think, White responded: “I’ll consider it. Congratulations.”

“I will absolutely entertain that idea,” White continued. “Hopefully they’ll get pissed off enough at each other that they actually want to fight and I can make that happen.”

Ferguson Pitched the Idea of Coaching Against Nurmagomedov, Nurmagomedov Responded

While speaking with Ariel Helwani on “The MMA Hour” last month, Ferguson pitched the coaching challenge to Nurmagomedov.

“I believe that when his dad [Khabib’s] said we were supposed to compete, I believe that,” Ferguson told the outlet via BJPenn.com. “I would love to be able to coach against him in ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ how about that? You know, best man wins on the team. I guarantee my coaching is a lot better than yours, Khabib. Not a lot of people understand that.”

“I built a team for a 12-fight win streak, and I can definitely build a team again,” El Cucuy continued.

Ferguson’s comments elicited a response from “The Eagle,” who tweeted his interest. And he also wrote that if it couldn’t happen with the UFC, he’d be willing to work with El Cucuy to do something for his own Eagle Fighting Championship.

“Tony I like the idea about TUF, call your bosses and let them make an offer, but if they don’t have ideas, I myself will offer you a deal on the @EagleFightClub platform, we doing some business here you know,” Nurmagomedov tweeted on May 17.

And in typical Ferguson fashion, El Cucuy tweeted back: “We’re Private Contractors Fathead Remember? We Can Smell Ya From All The Way Over Here. Lay Of The Sweets Meat Head. Now You Work For Me, BTW You Still Owe Me 200K & 20 Push-Up For The Homeless Keep Runnin’ It’s Tiramisu Tuesday- Champ  -CSO- ‘Merica MF.”

Nurmagomedov & Ferguson Have Never Fought Each Other

Ferguson and Nurmagomedov have been scheduled to fight five times in the UFC, but a contest has never come to fruition. Whether it was Nurmagomedov pulling out due to travel restrictions or El Cucuy getting hurt the week of the fight, it’s one of the biggest fights in the promotion never to happen.

Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping recently ranked Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson as the No. 1 UFC fight that he wished he’d seen.

“Now the fact this fight never went to head is just absolutely insane because, if you don’t know, this fight was matched up, this fight was contracted, these training camps were taking place,” Bisping said via BJPenn.com. “Not once, not twice, not thrice, don’t know what the fourth is, but five times! These guys were matched up five times.”

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