MMA fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov will compete against American Justin Gaethje for the world title in lightweight on October 24, UFC president Dana White announced Tuesday.

The prestigious fight was initially scheduled for September, but Nurmagomedov said in May that because of his father's corona crisis and illness, he was not looking forward to returning to the octagon for the time being.

Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, who became infected with the COVID-19 virus in May and subsequently had to remain in intensive care due to heart and kidney complications, died in early July at the age of 57. He was not only the father, but also the coach of his son.

"Khabib saw his father as a hero and they had a very close relationship, so his death had a big impact on his life," emphasizes White, who debunked persistent rumors in various media about Nurmagomedov's retirement. "I can tell you that the fight with Gaethje just continues."

Initially, Nurmagomedov would fight Tony Ferguson on April 18 for the world title, but that showdown was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ferguson took on Nurmagomedov's replacement in May against Gaethje, who won the interim title because of his victory.

Nurmagomedov, 31, has won all his 28 fights in the UFC so far. The last appearance of the Russian world top player was in September 2019 against the American Dustin Poirier.