Khabib insists winner of McGregor v Poirier will become new UFC lightweight champion

<p>Khabib believes the winner of McGregor-Poirier will become the new lightweight champion</p>

Khabib believes the winner of McGregor-Poirier will become the new lightweight champion

(Tass/PA Images)
18:39pm, Tue 29 Dec 2020
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has insisted his belt will be won by the winner of Conor McGregor v Dustin Poirier next month.

McGregor and Poirier will meet on January 23 in a rematch of their fight back in 2014, which ended in a first round knockout win for the Irishman.

McGregor is set to return to the octagon for the first time in 12 months

(PA)

And while UFC president Dana White has not yet confirmed whether the lightweight strap will be on the line for the clash, Khabib - who announced his retirement in October - believes it will determine who is the new champion.

When asked who he thinks are the best three lightweights in the division, the unbeaten Russian told MMA Fighting: "Top three [lightweight] fighters right now? Poirier, McGregor and [Islam] Makhachev. He is not in the top-five yet, but those are the best fighters.

"My belt will be taken by the winner of Dustin and Conor."

Despite Khabib’s claim that his belt will be up for grabs in January, White has recently go on record as saying he believes he can convince the undefeated star to retract his retirement and fight one last time.

"The truth is, he (Khabib) has not committed to anything," said the UFC president.

"What he has committed to is meeting with me next month. He and I are going to sit down, we're going to meet next month.

Poirier (left) and McGregor met six years ago in a hotly-anticipated clash

(Instagram: @thenotoriousonemma)

"We're going to find out how persuasive I can be - I'll bet on me every time."

Last month, Khabib hinted at a possible return to the sport with a cryptic Instagram post on social media.

Sign up to our newsletter