Although Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement last year, Conor McGregor is still hoping for a second fight against his rival.
Next night, the Irishman himself is fighting for the first time in a year.
McGregor takes on Dustin Poirier on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
At the press conference before the UFC fight, the cage fighter was already anticipating a possible new fight with Nurmagomedov.
"The world knows our war is not over yet. Our sport needs this fight, people want to see a rematch," McGregor said of Nurmagomedov.
The 32-year-old lightweight champion suddenly announced his retirement at the end of last year.
The MMA fighter from Dagestan had promised his mother to quit after his father's death.
UFC boss White spoke to Nurmagomedov
UFC boss Dana White hinted this week that he had recently spoken with Nurmagomedov.
The Russian would have said he would consider a return if he saw "something spectacular" in the upcoming fight between McGregor and Poitier.
"I hope to get him," said McGregor of Nurmagomedov, who is still the reigning UFC lightweight champion.
"If he continues to avoid his responsibility, then his title must be taken away."
McGregor and Nurmagomedov faced each other in 2018 in the most watched UFC fight ever (2.4 million pay-per-views).
After the titanic battle, things got completely out of hand outside the ring (see video below), which resulted in both fighters being suspended.
Big fight outside the ring after UFC fight with McGregor
McGregor: 'If he keeps running, I don't know what will happen'
"That was all three years ago, we are now living in 2021," said McGregor.
"If he dares to get back in the ring, I have no problems with him. But if he keeps running, I don't know what will happen if we bump into each other."
The fight between Poitier and McGregor is the main event of UFC 257 and probably starts on Sunday between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Dutch time.