The Nevada State Athletic Commission has shortened suspensions for Khabib Nurmagomedov’s teammates by 35 days in order to allow the UFC to book the lightweight champion for a fight against Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi on September 7th.
His friends and teammates Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Zubaira Tukhugov were handed one-year suspensions last year for their involvement in a brawl with Conor McGregor’s associates following Khabib’s UFC 229 win over the former ultimate fighting champion.
Khabib is eligible to return in July, but had refused to fight until his teammates were off suspension, which was scheduled for October.
While Khabib was given a nine-month suspension, he availed a three-month reduction due to taking part in an anti-bullying public service announcement. His teammates argued that they should be offered the same opportunity, which the commission agreed to on the condition that they complete 10 hours of community service assisting youth in self-defence and anti-bullying in an area of their choosing.
The event’s headline act has not been officially announced, but Khabib took to Instagram to celebrate the shortened suspensions, posting a picture with his team with the caption, “We ready and we coming InshaAllah. DreamTeam and real Family.”
UFC signed a deal with the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) in April to bring UFC events to the emirate for the next five years.
The first event is UFC 242 on Saturday, September 7. "The card will be headlined by at least one championship fight", UFC said in a statement at the time. The event will be hosted at Du Arena on Yas Island.
Abubakar and Tukhugov are now eligible to join Khabib on the UFC 242 bill.
Lebanese German fighter Khalid Taha also announced on his Instagram that he will take part in the Abu Dhabi event.
“Surprise surprise. Let’s make it official lady’s and gentleman, my next fight will be in Abu Dhabi at UFC 242. I am so excited to put on another firework!!! Let’s goo,” he said.
The fighter is expected to take on Brazilian bantamweight Bruno Silva, although it is not yet confirmed.
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