Some big news popped into the world of the UFC today – Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje have a date to unify the lightweight championship. On October 24, according to president Dana White, “The Eagle” will fight for the first time since a third-round submission win over former interim champ Dustin Poirier last September in Abu Dhabi at UFC 242. The 31-year-old Nurmagomedov is dealing with the death of his father and coach Abdulmanap at 57 from health issues related to contracting the coronavirus this month, posting on social media for the first time last week . Now, invariably, the mixed martial arts community turns its attention to Conor “The Notorious” McGregor’s Twitter feed of all places. There is little doubt McGregor (22-4), who announced his retirement earlier this year, will comment on this fight. McGregor is notorious for stealing the thunder from other fighters and events in posting on social media to his millions of followers. His feud with Nurmagomedov is legendary, and a second bout between the two (the Russian beat him in October of 2018 via submission) will surely be the biggest UFC fight of all time. The UFC needs to make this fight happen at some point, as it will surely stand as a legacy bout for both McGregor and Nurmagomedov, two of the sport’s biggest stars of the past five years. White has hinted and alluded to McGregor getting the winner of Nurmagomedov (28-0) and the American, however there has yet to be any type of confirmation from McGregor that he is not retired and would wait for the winner, which would mean not stepping into the Octagon until 2021. As McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh said earlier this year, the only person who can tell McGregor what to do is McGregor . One would think that McGregor is not actually retired, after such a convincing and moneymaking win over Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 246 in January that felt like a resurrection for the ages. Gaethje (22-2) shocked the MMA world earlier this year by handily beating Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in May, earning a TKO in the fifth round, which upset the original storyline that was supposed to finally see Nurmagomedov square off against Ferguson after multiple cancellations. Ali Abdelaziz reacts to Khabib vs Gaethje – ‘sad one will lose’ There is the possibility that Ferguson now fights Poirier sometime this year, which would give us another chapter in the lightweight storyline, as I am sure “El Cucuy” would love to wash the bad taste out of his mouth from his loss to Gaethje in Florida in May. Part of the best thing about the news today is this fight in October will help clear out the logjam that is the lightweight division. No one is doubting Nurmagomedov is the champion. Gaethje himself even dropped the interim belt on the mat after beating Ferguson, stating he wants the real one – and good on him for that. Nurmagomedov may once again show the MMA world why he is considered one of the greatest fighters of all-time, and systematically tear down Gaethje, who is no slouch as a former Division I All-American wrestler. The Russian tends to drown his opponents on the ground and tear them apart slowly, and if Gaethje, who has a formidable ground game, can’t defend or find an answer, we will get one about who is the real boss of the division. If Nurmagomedov beats Gaethje, McGregor fighting his nemesis again to end their long-standing feud sounds like a pretty good way to kick off the 2021 fight season. But if Gaethje wins, which no one is counting out as a possibility after his clinic against Ferguson, we get a bunch of compelling storylines that will come into play. Nurmagomedov losing to Gaethje, as unlikely as it may seem, will force White to book a rematch right away. The 31-year-old has earned the right to defend the belt he has held for over two years now, and worked so long to get, dispatching elite fighters like a conveyor belt of destruction. UFC confirms Khabib vs Gaethje title fight for October This means we are into 2021 and the other three fighters in the conversation (McGregor, Ferguson and Poirier) will be sitting on the sidelines. Ferguson beating Poirier sometime this year would make for a good hypothetical match before the end of 2021 against McGregor, but I’m not sure a lot of people are clamouring for that fight, even though many purists think the Irishman needs to earn his way back into the lightweight title shot conversation. Regardless, Nurmagomedov vs Gaethje is finally on the books, and White has proven the UFC will not let the coronavirus stop them from hosting cards. This fight is going to happen, and we are going to get a definitive chapter written in the lightweight division. Question is, will we see another upset, and will 2020 continue to rewrite the UFC narrative in unique and compelling ways, or will a rested, determined Nurmagomedov, fighting for the first time since the death of his father, once again quash any doubt as to why he is one of the most feared fighters to enter the Octagon? Maybe McGregor will have something to say on this, you think?