Las Vegas, July 29: Khabib Nurmagomedov will face Justin Gaethje in a UFC lightweight unification fight on October 24, Dana White has confirmed.
There had been speculation Khabib would retire from the sport after losing his father at the age of 57 in July, although the Russian's manager refuted that claim.
Gaethje stepped in to fight and beat Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 for the interim title after Khabib had to withdraw from the bout due to travel restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
UFC president White says the American will be Khabib's opponent when he returns to the Octagon in three months' time.
"It's going to happen, tell you right here right now. That fight is going to happen," White told CNN.
"Khabib versus Gaethje, October 24."
White said Khabib has had a difficult time since the Russian lost his father Abdulmanap to complications following a COVID-19 infection.
"It's been very rough on him," he said. "His father was a hero to him, he loved his father, they had a very close relationship and it was very hard on him."
Khabib, who has won all 28 of his professional fights, beat Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 last September in his most recent bout to defend the lightweight title.