UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will next fight at UFC 242 on September 7 in Abu Dhabi — that much is almost certain. But we still don’t have confirmation about who his opponent will be.
Most expect interim UFC lightweight champion Dustin Poirier to be the next man to fight “The Eagle”, but according to Nurmagomedov’s father Abdulmanap, that’s not a sure thing, as two other opponents are still under consideration.
“There are three opponents in development,” Abdulmanap said in an interview with Sports.ru (transcribed by Karim Zidan of BloodyElbow.com). “There is Tony Ferguson, a rematch with Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. Khabib is preparing for any of them.”
That’s in contrast to a recent Instagram post by Javier Mendez, Nurmagomedov’s head coach at American Kickboxing Academy, who said the champ is preparing for Poirier. But the UFC has still not confirmed that matchup, and now we know why, as the father of the champ says the UFC is still considering Ferguson and McGregor for the fight.
Khabib Nurmagomedov (27-0) is undefeated in his career and was last seen stopping McGregor at UFC 229 last October by fourth-round submission. Even though McGregor hasn’t won a fight since then, a rematch with Nurmagomedov would still be arguably the biggest money fight the UFC can book. Ferguson, meanwhile, is making his return to the Octagon this weekend at UFC 238 when he takes on Donald Cerrone. As for Poirier, he’s coming off of a decision win over Max Holloway at UFC 236 that won him the interim belt. Still, even though logic says Poirier deserves the next title fight, we all know MMA is the entertainment business, and it appears the UFC is still considering other opponents for Khabib.
However, if it was up to Nurmagomedov’s father, Poirier would be the next man his son fights in the Octagon.
“For me it would be logical to fight against Dustin Poirier,” Abdulmanap said.
Who do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov should fight at UFC 242? Leave a comment below with your preferred matchup?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/3/2019.