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UFC President Dana White has confirmed: Khabib Nurmagomedov is on for Fight Island.
White, who has hailed Abu Dhabi as sport's "new capital of world", confirmed Nurmagomedov for a title match in October..
Fight Island represents a four-show promotion under the UFC banner hosted by The Emirate, which kicked off with UFC 251 on July 12.
UFC 251 was headlined by a Kamaru Usman victory over late stand-in Jorge Masvidal on points to retain his welterweight belt.
White is set on continuing the show at Fight Island - and he wants one of its biggest stars to headline.
Khabib was originally slated against Tony Ferguson, COVID-19 restrictions prevented him from traveling from headquarters in Russia.
Justin Gaethje stepped in and handed Ferguson his first ever loss.
Shortly after, Khabib traically lost his father and trainer Abdulmanap who died after catching the virus.
But White is confident that the time for the lightweight champion come back into the fold is near.
Speaking to The National, White said: "“Khabib will be the next.
"We're talking about [middleweight champion] Israel Adesanya versus Paulo Costa, that fight happening.
"[Women’s strawweight champion] Weili Zhang versus Rose Namajunas is a possibility.
"All the massive, big fights with literally the champion versus the No 1 contender are all looking like Fight Island Abu Dhabi.
"Abu Dhabi is going to be looked at as the new fight capital of the world.
"It used to be Las Vegas. It definitely isn't Las Vegas right now.”
An unforeseen obstacle for fighters in Abu Dhabi has been adjusting their sleep schedules for early morning shows.
They are holding the bouts between 4am and 8am local time to maximise PPV sales back home in the USA.
Abu Dhabi is 11 hours ahead of the US’s West Coast, including their Las Vegas home, and eight hours ahead of East Coast states like New York.
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