Earlier this month, in the main event of UFC 216, Tony Ferguson defeated Kevin Lee to win the UFC interim lightweight title. Yet in the opinion of Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is one of Ferguson’s fiercest rivals, Ferguson should now be considered the undisputed champion.
It’s for this reason that Nurmagomedov wants to fight Ferguson next – ideally at UFC 219 on December 30 in Detroit. While this fight goes down, Nurmagomedov believes the UFC should pit undisputed lightweight champion Conor McGregor against Nate Diaz in a tie-breaking rubber match.
Nurmagomedov outlined his ideal plan for the lightweight division during a Monday appearance on The MMA Hour:
“Now I am healthy, I fixed everything, my knee is fixed — everything,” Nurmagomedov said (h/t MMAMania). “I hope at end of the year UFC gives me the fight so I can come back. We have 12 weeks before UFC 219 and I hope UFC give me championship fight at end of the year. I want to take everything back — attention, belt … everything.”
“First of all, I think UFC needs to make fight Conor vs. Nate Diaz 3 and then after [that] me an Tony,” he said. “I think this is a very interesting fight. Conor vs Diaz is a money fight for UFC, and the real fight is me vs. Tony. I think this is much better.”
“In my opinion, I think Tony Ferguson is the real champion,” Nurmagomedov continued. “I don’t think if I fight Tony Ferguson this is for the interim belt … it’s the real belt. People want to see me and Tony Ferguson. I think this is a much better fight for me to take everything back. If I beat Tony and take interim belt I think Conor is official champion, but not the people’s champion.”
Who do you want to see Khabib Nurmagomedov fight next?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/17/2017