Fans have been clamoring for a fight between UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov and streaking contender Tony Ferguson for years. Yet from the sounds of it, Nurmagomedov and his team aren’t particularly interested in this fight at present.
According to Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz, the champion is targeting bigger, more lucrative opportunities.
“I think it took 11 or 10 fights for (Nurmagomedov) to become champion,” Abdelaziz said on MMAjunkie Radio this week. “It’s the longest winning streak outside Tony. Now, you can’t be like, ‘Fight somebody who is not going to help you sell pay-per-view.’”
Abdelaziz added that, at this point, Tony Ferguson is also too easy a matchup for Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“Tony Ferguson is an unbelievable fighter, but I’m telling you, he’s one of the easiest fights for Khabib out there,” Abdelaziz said. “He’s sloppy. He’s slow. Khabib will beat him. He will put a beating on him, a worse (beating) on him maybe than (he did to McGregor). The fight will happen, but when it will happen, I don’t know.”
One fight that does interest Khabib Nurmagomedov and Ali Abdelaziz is a fight with undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., who is currently gearing up for an exhibition match with Tenshin Nasukawa. Abdelaziz says he’d like to see this potential fight occur under the MMA rule-set, but doesn’t expect Mayweather — a competitor in a “semi-sport” — to agree to that.
“He doesn’t have enough balls to do this,” Abdelaziz said. “He’s not man enough to come to MMA and fight. Boxing, it’s a semi-sport. MMA is a full sport for real guys. Floyd is not really a fighter; he’s an athlete. Khabib is a fighter.”
Who do you want to see Khabib Nurmagomedov fight next?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/27/2018.