KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV has predicted Conor McGregor will knock out Dustin Porier 'early' and within two rounds.

But, the UFC lightweight champion – who has beaten both – backed Poirier to upset the odds if he can get beyond the first ten minutes.

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Speaking to former fighter Din Thomas, captured on UFC's 'Looking for a Fighter' series, Khabib said: "Just two rounds – Conor.

"Early, it's Conor. But, third round, number four, I think Dustin can beat this guy."

McGregor and Poirier, both 32, headline UFC 257 on Fight Island with the lightweight title up in the air.

Nurmagomedov, also 32, still holds the crown, despite retiring in October.

Khabib made the shock decision following his win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.

It was the first fight since the loss of his influential father Abdulmanap, who passed away aged 57 in July after contracting coronavirus.

But beforehand, Nurmagomedov revealed it was always their plan to hang up the gloves 30-0.

With Khabib one win away from doing so, White discussed the possibility of coming back for one final fight with the Russian while in Abu Dhabi.

UFC boss White later revealed Nurmagomedov will only come out of retirement if a lightweight contender impresses him enough to do so.

Footage just after their meeting captured the promoter trying to persuade the Dagestani hero into a rematch with McGregor.

White told Khabib: “This fight with Poirier is trending bigger than the fight with you and Conor on pay-per-view.

“Imagine what you and Conor would do in another f***ing fight. Just saying. I’m just saying!"

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