Khabib Nurmagomedov is looking to remain active once his suspension is up.
The lightweight champion is rumored to be taking on the interim champion, Dustin Poirier, at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi in September. Then the plan is for Nurmagomedov to fight in December and again in April. This according to his manager Ali Abdelaziz.
“He gave me very specific instructions,” Abdelaziz told ESPN. “He said he wants to fight Sept. 7 and again in December. And if [former welterweight champion] Georges St-Pierre can figure things out with the UFC by April, that’s the deal. He would like that fight in April.”
Although St-Pierre and Nurmagomedov have been linked to a potential fight before, Abdelaziz says ‘The Eagle’ would be fine fighting any contender. All that matters to the Russian is staying active and bringing order back to the log-jammed lightweight division.
“The lightweight division has a lot of contenders, and we need to keep the division going,” Abdelaziz said. “Khabib has done this before. He fought [Edson Barboza], Al [Iaquinta] and Conor [McGregor] in less than one year [from December 2017 to October 2018]. If it can be Georges in April, he would love that fight. If not, it can be any contender.”
One fight that may very well be available is the Conor McGregor rematch. However, according to Abdelaziz, he would like to see the Irishman win a fight to show that he is the top contender.
“To be honest, Conor is going to have to go out there and fight somebody like Justin Gaethje, Tony Ferguson or Cowboy [Donald Cerrone],” Abdelaziz said. “He’s not a worthy enough opponent right now. That’s the feeling from all of us, as a team.”
Ultimately, Nurmagomedov wants to remain active and it all starts at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi against Poirier.
What do you make of Ali Abdelaziz’s comments regarding the activity of Khabib Nurmagomedov?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/5/2019.