According to a report from MMA Team Dagestan, a Twitter account that has produced a number of high-profile scoops in recent weeks, the hunt for UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s next opponent is down to two men. The priority, of course, is former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor. If negotiations with the Irish superstar fizzle out, however, the UFC is reportedly planning to announce a fight between Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. Either way, the fight will reportedly occur at UFC 229 on October 6.
— MMA TEAM DAGESTAN (@MMATeamDagestan) July 2, 2018
Over the last few weeks, there has been ample reason to believe a Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor could soon happen. McGregor’s coaches Owen Roddy and John Kavanagh have both implied negotiations could be percolating, while Nurmagomedov himself has stated the bout is in the works.
“Very soon I’m going to come to USA, to California and begin my training camp,” Nurmagomedov said on the social media platform Live Raise in late June.
“When the UFC give me fight I’m going to come to California and I’m going to stay at [American Kickboxing Academy] for nine weeks with my family before the fight and I’m going to defend my title.”
“This year I want to defend my title. About opponents? I don’t know to be honest. I don’t know, but the UFC are working on a fight versus Conor [McGregor].”
If the fight doesn’t happen, and the UFC does indeed book a UFC 229 bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, it will be their fifth attempt at doing so. On each of the four previous occasions the promotion has attempted to book the fight, one man or the other has been forced to withdraw.
UPDATE: Since the publication of this article, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz has claimed that Nurmagomedov will not be fighting Ferguson.
Don’t believe this my friend https://t.co/AoxVjh8zkE
— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) July 2, 2018
We’ll leave it up to you to decide where you stand!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/2/2018.