When Khabib Nurmagomedov took on Conor McGregor at UFC 229, it resulted in the biggest pay-per-view in promotional history.
It was expected that former interim lightweight title holder, Tony Ferguson, would be the next man to challenge “The Eagle” for the promotions coveted 155-pound strap.
However, after turning down the opportunity to fight Max Holloway at UFC 236, UFC President Dana White says “El Cucuy” is now the odd man out.
With that, the UFC boss proclaimed that the winner of April’s newly announced interim lightweight title fight between Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier will receive the next shot at Khabib Nurmagomedov.
That news likely didn’t sit well with former two-division champion Conor McGregor, who was apparently fixated on getting an immediate rematch with his Russian rival.
According to Khabib’s coach Javier Mendez, despite the massive payday a rematch with McGregor offers, Khabib is simply not about the money.
“Not likely. Khabib is not about the money, I am. Khabib goes, “No, coach. He doesn’t deserve it,” Mendez said recently on BJPENN.com radio. “Let him work his way back up.” No, Khabib’s not about that fight. But this is the thing though, the UFC is in control who they offer, you don’t get to pick and choose who you want. This company runs a company for a reason. They tell you who’s available to fight, you say yes or you say no. If you say no, well okay they offer you a fight they’re obligated to offer and if you decline it that puts your contract as settled.
“Whether they do an interim title with somebody else or strip you of the title, that’s within their rights. They don’t do anything that’s not within the contract, they always follow the contracts. That’s what I’m thinking, so if they offer Conor and Khabib said no, well then I don’t know what will happen. I know Khabib would want to say no, but you never know, anything is possible.”
For now, Nurmagomedov remains on the bench while he serves the remainder of his suspension from the NSAC.
Who do you want to see Khabib Nurmagomedov fight next when he returns from suspension?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/2/2019