Khabib Nurmagomedov and team has said that some big news is in the works. Fans and media alike specualted whether that would be a interim title fight against Tony Ferguson, or if Nurmagomedov would just be able to skip straight to an undisputed title fight with Conor McGregor. No one expected that it may also be a huge card in Russia, but that just became way more of a possibility. First reported by Denis Geyko of RT Sport, the UFC has booked their the first ever fight card in Russia at Moscow’s Olympiyskiy Stadium.
“Most likely, this event is going to be connected with us. [Khabib Nurmagomedov] will fight in April first with Tony Ferguson, and then we will receive a date for a fight with [Conor] McGregor. Although I can’t exclude the possibility they will make us wait for Ferguson until September, and there won’t be an April fight.”
— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) January 9, 2018
“We have many good fighters who can fill the arena — Alexander Volkov, Gadzhimurad Antigulov, Mairbek Taisumov. Fans love Zabit Magomedsharipov now. Rustam Khabilov and Islam Makhachev can also join. Many [fighters] will want to perform both in the UFC and at home at the same time. Plus it’s very interesting for [Russian] fans.” — Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father, speaking to RT Sport.
According to the report, , the stadium was booked bu the UFC September 14th and 15th and boasts a capacity of 35K. If the UFC secured a venue that large, needless to say they have something huge in mind that will bring the Russian fans out in droves. Could the UFC really be planning that far ahead for Khabib Nurmagomedov to win against a fight in Tony Ferguson and then fight Conor McGregor? Coach John Kavanagh did seem to hint at some thing yesterday. We have a long time to wait and speculate until answers are announced officially.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/12/2018.