Final Combating Championship (UFC) President Dana White expects Khabib Nurmagomedov to defend his 155-pound title towards prime light-weight contender Justin Gaethje within the UFC 253 pay-per-view (PPV) major occasion, scheduled for Sept. 19 in Abu Dhabi.

“The Eagle” just lately misplaced his father to issues from coronavirus and has not been seen or heard from since. However till White hears in any other case, Nurmagomedov remains to be scheduled to make his Octagon return towards “The Spotlight” later this yr.

“I don’t suppose it’s off the desk,” White advised reporters concerning the UFC 253 major occasion. “I’m simply ready to listen to from him. I’m not messing with Khabib. I’m leaving him alone till he’s prepared to speak and letting him mourn and do what he has to do. I reached out to him the day of … I haven’t heard again from him since.”

Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, was positioned in a medically-induced coma after being admitted to the hospital final Could in Moscow, Russia, the place he underwent emergency bypass surgical procedure. On the time, docs had been in a position to stabilize his situation however the longtime fight sports activities coach finally succumbed to his sickness.

“The Eagle” (28-0) has not competed since defeating Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 again in late 2019. As for the streaking Gaethje (22-2), he’s coming off a technical knockout win over light-weight “Boogeyman” Tony Ferguson within the UFC 249 headliner just some months again.