On April 7, in the main event of UFC 223, UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson and undefeated contender Khabib Nurmagomedov will battle for gold. Of course, there’s been some question as to whether they’ll be fighting for Ferguson’s interim belt, or the undisputed lightweight title, which would first have to be vacated by Conor McGregor…
In a recent interview with TMZ, Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz assured that this UFC 223 lightweight title fight will indeed be for the undisputed strap.
“On fight night, Khabib will fight for the undisputed lightweight belt,” declared Abdelaziz. “My demands have been fulfilled. I can give a sh*t what everybody asks, what everybody’s saying. I don’t care if Conor’s stripped [or] not stripped. I know that April 7, Khabib will fight for the lightweight belt and Conor’s belt will go in the trash.”
Perhaps even more interestingly, Abdelaziz suggested that, after fighting Ferguson, Nurmagomedov might seek out a bout with McGregor, and then hang up the gloves.
“We’re gonna beat Tony. We’re gonna stop Tony in three rounds. Khabib’s probably gonna retire undefeated because he’s gonna beat Conor, he’s gonna beat Tony, and he’s probably gonna say ‘Bye-bye.’”
Abdelaziz also touched on Nurmagomedov’s recent assertion that, if he becomes the undisputed lightweight champ, he might not give McGregor an immediate title shot.
“Khabib said he’s gonna make the motherf**ker wait,” he said. “That’s what he told me, word for word. ‘When I beat Tony, Conor’s got to get in line or he can go fight Nate Diaz or somebody and make some money.’ [Khabib] said he’s gonna make the division right. At the end of the day, he said Conor’s gonna have to beg.
“On April 7, El Cucuy’s gonna get an ass-whooping and maybe Conor, maybe we’ll give him a crack. You see all his b**ch-ass coaches saying ‘Oh, Conor will knock out Khabib in the first round.’ Motherf**ker, you should have fought Khabib when you were supposed to fight him, when you said you wanted to fight him in Russia!”
What do you think the future holds for Khabib Nurmagomedov?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/29/2018.