28 July 2020 22:49
When Justin Gaethje stepped in to replace Khabib Nurmagomedov against Tony Ferguson in May, a long-awaited lightweight title clash ended up scrapped--again--and Gaethje emerged as UFC interim lightweight champion with a lopsided victory over Ferguson. Instead of Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson, the lightweight fight to book became a title unification with lightweight champ Nurmagomedov squaring off with new interim lightweight champ Gaethje. That fight now has a date. Speaking with CNN, UFC president Dana White confirmed a date for the lightweight unification bout, though a location and venue have yet to be determined.
A short time later on Tuesday, the UFC confirmed the lightweight title showdown as official. "It's going to happen, I tell you right here right now," White said. "That fight's going to happen. Khabib versus Gaethje, Oct. 24." Earlier this month, Nurmagomedov's father, Abdulmanap, died following complications related to COVID-19. Despite the circumstances surrounding the loss of his father, friend and trainer, White said the lightweight champion will be ready to step back into the Octagon later this year.