Since his dominant UFC 205 win over Michael Johnson, top ranked UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov has been looking for a fight with lightweight champion Conor McGregor. While it was initially reported that McGregor would be sidelined for 10 months due to the upcoming birth of his firstborn child, the ‘champ champ’ recently stated that he could be returning to the Octagon much sooner than initially expected.
This has led to even more controversy surrounding the lightweight title picture, and who will be getting the next lightweight title shot. While the UFC was initially looking to book Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson for an interim lightweight title fight, Ferguson then revealed that he planned to hold out for more money. This led to rumors of a potential Nate Diaz vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov interim title fight, however Jose Aldo’s manager was quick to reveal that Aldo was looking to move up to lightweight for an interim title fight.
With so much controversy surrounding the lightweight title, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdel-Aziz, spoke to MMAJunkie to make a bold prediction for Conor McGregor’s next fight:
“Let me make a prediction: McGregor’s next fight is going to be Tyron Woodley for the welterweight title,” Abdelaziz said. “This is the fight that’s going to happen. Every sign is this is going to happen.”
“Now, when Conor fights Woodley, (his management goes), maybe I won’t ask for this much money because (the UFC says) that’s OK, Khabib is ready to fight,” he said. “Now, Khabib has become the boogeyman the UFC uses for leverage in negotiations. I’m OK with that.”
“Khabib fights for legacy – not for money,” the manager said. “That’s what makes fighters so good, when you fight for legacy. When you start fighting for money, it can end very, very bad for you.”
With Tony Ferguson’s name being one that is frequently brought up in talks of a lightweight title shot, Nurmagomedov’s manager believes that the best way to secure a fight with McGregor, is to beat Ferguson:
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“If he kills Tony, that’s it,” Abdelaziz said. “After that, we’re going for the head of the snake, the big cobra, Conor.”