All signs point to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov taking on the interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier next. The fight is expected to take place at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi. Although that is the tentative plan, there is one person who can potentially change all that, and that is Conor McGregor.
The Irishman fought Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 where he lost by fourth-round submission. But, according to Ali Abdelaziz, Nurmagomedov’s manager, if the former two-division champ were to get a win he could very well jump the line and get the next title shot.
Conor McGregor could ‘over-leap all these guys’
“We’re working on it. We’re going through a couple [of] things, I think it’s going well. But the fight is not finalized yet. That would be a good date for Khabib to come back,” Abdelaziz said on The MMA Hour (transcript via MMAFighting). Khabib, he gave me — he wants to fight September, December, and April. These are the three dates he gave me. I let the UFC know. Poirier is a great opponent. You have a lot of lightweight fights coming up. [You] have [Donald] Cerrone and [Tony] Ferguson coming up. You have this guy Conor [McGregor] — but it’s funny because if Conor went out there and got a win, he might over-leap all these guys again.
“It’s a promotion, right? At the end of the day, [McGregor] wanted a rematch. We said no. Khabib said no, he said it publicly: ‘No, he’s not getting a rematch. You’ve got to go out there and just get a win.’ … Everybody knows that’s the biggest money fight you can make, and the UFC’s a company to make money. Conor got a rematch every time he lost, right, outside Floyd. But in a way, I don’t think he deserves it.”
There is currently no word on whether or not Conor McGregor will fight again. But, if what Abdelaziz is saying is true, the 30-year-old will need to get a win before he gets a title shot again.
Do you think Conor McGregor can earn himself another title shot?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/21/2019.