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UFC notes: Lightweight title fight set, White accepts Khabib's retirement

After months of not accepting that UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was retired and trying to persuade him to reconsider, Dana White finally relented early Friday morning.

White tweeted that at 29-0, Nurmagomedov was "100% officially retired," that it was incredible to watch him work and thanked him for everything. After debuting with the UFC in January 2012, he won the title in April 2018, successfully defending the title four times.

Shortly thereafter, ESPN reported that former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler and the streaking Charles Olivera will battle for the vacant title at UFC 262 on May 15th, location TBA.

Chandler is coming off a first round KO of Dan Hooker in his debut at January's UFC 257 while Oliveira has won eight straight including a dominant win over Tony Ferguson his last time out.

On a somewhat related note, it appears that Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier III is the path forward for both men. ESPN's Ariel Helwani reported the company wanted to get the fight done for May 15th but that July 10th is now the targeted date. Poirier tweeted, "I am the champion."

That would leave fan favorite Justin Gaethje as the odd man out for the time being.

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After a two-year absence due to a USADA violation for taking EPO, former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw will return in a UFC Fight Night main event against top contender Cory Sandhagen on May 8th. It's expected the winner will get a bantamweight title shot.

Dillashaw was last seen in a losing effort to then-flyweight champion Henry Cejudo, the fight in which he failed tests. Since losing to current champion Aljamain Sterling, Sandhagen has knocked out both Marlon Moraes and former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar in impressive fashion.

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Former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt will return to face rising contender Rob Font in a UFC Fight Night main event on May 22nd.

Garbrandt was scheduled to drop to flyweight and challenge reigning champion Deiveson Figueiredo last November but had to pull out due to testing positive for COVID-19. Before that, he was last seen knocking out Raphael Assuncao last June. Font is on a three-fight winning streak, the last a first round KO of the aforementioned Moraes.