UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov says he is ready for an octagon comeback as early as July, vowing to “smash” the competition on his return and replace “coronatime” with “Khabibtime.”

After being ruled out of his long-awaited showdown with Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 due to the Covid-19 chaos, Khabib had initially suggested his return would not be until September as he gets back to full speed after emerging from Ramadan. 

READ MORE: ‘Even in times of peace, prepare for war’: Khabib hints he’s targeting September for long-awaited showdown with Tony Ferguson

But the 155lbs king now appears to have fast-tracked that timeframe, suggesting he would be ready “anytime.”

Taking exception to a discussion on ESPN in which Chael Sonnen talked through potential options involving Khabib and Irish nemesis Conor McGregor, the Dagestani grappling phenom wrote in the replies: “I can fight anytime, Ramadan finishes May 23. July I’m gonna be ready.

“Stop talking about me, this is coronatime, when Khabibtime comes I smash all of them.”

A post shared by ESPN MMA (@espnmma) on May 6, 2020 at 10:50am PDT

Should that be accurate, it would intriguingly raise the prospect of Khabib fighting on the UFC’s fabled ‘Fight Island’ – where Dana White has said events involving fighters outside the US could take place while the pandemic peters out in the coming months.

Suggestions in recent days had been that McGregor could fight there against reigning ‘BMF’ Jorge Masvidal – but with Khabib seemingly throwing himself back in the mix sooner than expected, that may change the matchmaking picture for Dana White and Co.  

Conventional wisdom, however, would still be that Khabib next faces the victor of this weekend’s showdown for the interim lightweight title between Ferguson and Justin Gaethje at the rearranged UFC 249 in Jacksonville, Florida.  

If they put faith in Khabib’s latest comments, fans may not have to wait all that long for that unification match-up to happen.