Manager Ali Abdelaziz says that Conor McGregor needs to beat Justin Gaethje if he wants to get a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
McGregor knocked out Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds in a very impressive performance at UFC 246, but according to Abdelaziz, Team Nurmagomedov wants McGregor to get a more relevant win if he wants to earn his title shot rematch.
Speaking to TMZ Sports, Abdelaziz suggested that McGregor first defeat Gaethje if he wants to get the rematch with Nurmagomedov.
“You can’t get a title fight beating a guy who is 36 years old coming off of a loss. If he wants to get a title shot, like Khabib said, he needs to start fighting guys like Gaethje or Islam Makhachev, this type of young guys, up-and-coming, who are coming off of wins,” Abdelaziz said of McGregor.
“It was a good performance, he treated Cerrone the way he should have treated him. But of course not (he shouldn’t get a rematch). It was a huge fight, but at the end of the day, Khabib is all about principle.”
Abdelaziz said that McGregor will have to beat a relevant fighter in order to get the rematch and he pointed to Gaethje specifically as that guy.
“Conor can say whatever he wants. But my advice to Conor is, hey b*itch, go fight Justin Gaethje, get a win, and after that come back for a title shot,” Abdelaziz said.
Ultimately it will come down to what UFC president Dana White wants to do. If White is adamant that McGregor gets the rematch with Nurmagomedov, or a fight against Tony Ferguson should he get the upset at UFC 249, then the UFC will make that happen. But a win over Gaethje would truly solidify McGregor as the No. 1 contender.
Do you agree with Ali Abdelaziz that Conor McGregor should have to beat Justin Gaethje if he wants the rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov?