MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz has some advice for Conor McGregor: pump the brakes on the retirement talk and go fight.
McGregor, who is riding a dominant, first-round TKO win over Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, announced his retirement shortly after Amanda Nunes defeated Felicia Spencer at UFC 250.
Abdelaziz views the timing of McGregor’s announcement as inconsiderate, and believes the announcement itself is little more than a ploy to get attention.
After his January victory over Cerrone, McGregor teased a busy year, jam-packed with multiple blockbuster fights. Despite that plan, he hasn’t fought since.
Abdelaziz encourages McGregor to stick to his original plan and accept a fight—specifically against Tony Ferguson or Jorge Masvidal.
“Right now, he’s on punishment for his bad behavior,” Abdelaziz said. “Right now, he needs to sit down. Go fight Tony Ferguson, stay busy, stay active. Go fight Jorge Masvidal. Stay active, I want to see activity. Remember, he used to say that to all of us? Guess what? Payback is a bitch.”
McGregor has recently expressed interest in fights with reigning UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champion Justin Gaethje—both Abdelaziz clients. Abdelaziz doesn’t seem to think either of these fights make sense unless McGregor picks up another big win in the meantime. On that note, he once again suggested McGregor fight Ferguson.
“A lot of good business done is off Conor,” Abdelaziz said of McGregor. “But UFC doesn’t stop without Conor, we don’t stop without Conor. Will Khabib fight him? He can forget about it. I don’t think Khabib will fight him. Will Gaethje fight him? I don’t know. Maybe. But at the end of the day, I would like to see Conor fight one more fight before he gets a title shot. I would like to see him fight Tony Ferguson. I think that’s the fight a lot of people … it’s a good fight. They have histories, and I think they should fight to see who is the number one contender.”
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