Dominance MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz believes we could see plenty more of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov over the next few years, but is reluctant to comment on the Russian’s fighting future until his showdown with the division’s interim champion Justin Gaethje in the rear-view.
Nurmagomedov and Gaethje, who are both managed by Abdelaziz, are set to collide for the UFC lightweight title on October 24. Abdelaziz views the fight as tremendously dangerous for both champion and challenger, but believes it’s possible Nurmagomedov, who is currently 28-0, could strive for a perfect 30-0 mark if he’s victorious.
“Khabib is in his prime,” Abdelaziz told BJPENN.com on Thursday. “He’s training every day. He’s in great shape already. At the end of the day, it’s up to Khabib [if he continues to fight]. I know he’ll probably fight to at least 30-0, but of course, he has to fight Justin first. This is the most important fight for Khabib. It’s the most important for Justin. You can’t look past October 24, out of respect for Justin, out of respect for Khabib. This is a great fight, a very competitive fight, and both guys are going to deliver.
“These guys, all their lives they’ve dreamed of becoming a world champion,” Abdelaziz added. “They’ve both become champions. They’re both amazing athletes, and they want to know who’s the best. Justin is the interim champion, Khabib is the world champion, and they’re going to fight. October 24, they’re going to fight, and we’re going to find out who’s the best.”
As the manager for both Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje, Abdelaziz says he plans on watching the pair’s October 24 title fight from his home, rather than attending the fight in person.
“I don’t want to see anybody lose, and if they lose, I’ll want to be with them, but that’s not going to be fair for the winner,” he said. “It’s better emotionally if I stay home and watch it, and wish the best of luck to both guys.”