Khabib Nurmagomedov hasn’t stopped campaigning for a huge fight ever since he dominated the dangerous Edson Barboza at UFC 219. Dana White has said that the next fight will be against Tony Ferguson, but that whether it’d be for the interim lightweight title or the undisputed title, would be up to Conor McGregor. However, things aren’t as clear as they appear. Whether it is a tease or just to stir up some the rumor mill by adding to the trash talk, coach John Kavanagh recorded himself studying Khabib Nurmagomedov fights on his Instagram live.
“I tell [Dana White] hey, today when I fight, my son is born. I tell him hey, you remember one year ago? All MMA fans one year waiting for Conor [McGregor’s] son, but I’m here. For my fans, for my legacy, for my history, for everything. I need real fight. Tony [Ferguson] or Conor. Doesn’t matter. Please give me both. He said, ‘You deserve everything what you want.’ And he told me, ‘Performance of the night is yours.'”
— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) January 9, 2018
“Everybody forget about [McGregor] because he doesn’t want real fight. He fight with only like 45-years old Floyd Mayweather or marijuana guy who lose 10 times in UFC, Nate Diaz. You know, like this is crazy. He has to defend his belt. [It would cost] zero [to get me to fight McGregor]. Zero, man. I don’t need money. I need only real fight. Fight for the title. I don’t fight for the money, I fight for my legacy, I fight for history, I fight for my people. That’s why I am here. Three rounds? I need like 50, 60 rounds. I want to fight all night. This is what I want. I need Tony and Conor same night.” — Khabib Nurmagomedov speaking to TMZ Sports.
His manager and Khabib Nurmagomedov himself have been teasing a big announcement that everyone believed would be a fight against Tony Ferguson, but could it really skip the interim belt entirely and fight Conor McGregor next? That definitely wouldn’t end up with Ferguson being happy, but it would certainly please fans. Either way, the winner would fight Ferguson next anyway, who is still recovering from elbow surgery. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but as long as Nurmagomedov is standing in front of someone in the cage, fans will be hyped.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/11/2018.