Khabib time: Unbeaten Nurmagomedov set for title shot at UFC 205
Alvarez had called out McGregor on Twitter late on Tuesday, but a subsequent tweet from White to a fan appears to have put the Russian fighter in pole position for a title shot.
Nurmagomedov joined in the conversation, imploring Alvarez to sign the contract and promising to end their fight quickly when they meet.
Me and Dana just waiting for Eddie to sign. I promise I will finish you fast and with no pain. https://t.co/4Zv9j8xejZ— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) September 21, 2016
The Russian's victory over Darrell Horcher back in April saw him installed as the number one contender for the lightweight crown, although McGregor's wish to become the first simultaneous two-weight UFC world champion has clouded the issue.
The Irishman still holds the featherweight belt, but the identity of his next opponent has remained a mystery since his grueling victory over Nate Diaz at UFC 202.
However, it looks like UFC 205 will be a big night at New York City’s Madison Square Garden for Nurmagomedov, who stands 23-0 in professional MMA and has long been calling for the UFC to give him a title shot.
Speaking to RT Sport in April, shortly after his victory against Horcher, Khabib said: “I think that my time is coming.
"I am undefeated in the last eight years. That's why I think I deserve my title shot. And I hope the UFC will give me a title shot at the end of the year. I want to take this belt. I want to become the first Russian UFC champion."
It makes sense financially for the UFC to have Nurmagomedov fighting for the belt in New York City, which has the largest Russian-speaking community in the US. And there is no doubt that Khabib now represents the UFC in his homeland.
“The Eagle”, who celebrated his 28th birthday yesterday, later confirmed the news again, tweeting: “I had a very generous birthday gift today. Thanks @danawhite.”
Former women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey could also be part of the UFC 205 lineup, after White confirmed she is likely to return to the Octogon before the end of 2016.
Rousey hasn't fought since her stunning defeat against Holly Holm back in November 2015, but White told Esporte Espetacular a comeback is very much on the cards.
"Yes, there's a big chance that Ronda Rousey will fight Amanda Nunes and I'm very confident that Ronda will probably fight before the end of the year," White said.
Nunes destroyed Miesha Tate in the first round of their fight at UFC 200 and is understood to be keen to face Rousey.
However, December's UFC 206 event in Toronto, Canada, is another possible date for a meeting between the pair.