VIDEO | Khabib Nurmagomedov Says His Contract States He Fights Tony Ferguson for Conor McGregor’s Title

Khabib Nurmagomedov Tony Ferguson

It’s hard to keep track of MMA with everything moving the speed of light, but chances are you were still confused on the UFC’s lightweight title scenario. Dana White seemed intentionally vague about the whole situation, even pissing off one-half of the UFC 223 title fight, Tony Ferguson. The other half of that highly anticipated fight Khabib Nurmagomedov doesn’t seem phased though. He just recently said his contract states that he’s fighting for the ‘real’ belt: Conor McGregor’s belt.

“When is Conor [McGregor] compete last time in MMA? I forget about this. Long time. He’s a  boxing guy. He’s good to stay in boxing, because you have to compete in MMA, like wrestling, grappling, conditioning 25 minutes — it’s like different. It’s very hard to him. [They say he’s going to come back], but when? They talk about a [Floyd] Mayweather fight. I don’t think he gonna come back. We’re going to fight for [McGregor’s] belt.

“The UFC strip his belt, now we’re going to fight for real belt, 100-percent. I have contract, like, real belt. What are they going to do? They have only one real belt. They have interim belt and they have real belt. They send me contract. We’re going to fight with Tony Ferguson for the real belt. I have contract [that says we’re not fighting for an interim belt]. Maybe they [haven’t told McGregor because they] don’t want him him upset because he make good money, I don’t know about this. But I know I’m going to fight for the real belt because I have contract.” — Khabib Nurmagomedov speaking to TMZ Sports.

It was made clear by Khabib Nurmagomedov before that he wouldn’t fight for an interim title. He yelled at Dana White in the Octagon and then waited on him outside by his car after his win over Edson Barboza at UFC 219. However, if this is the case that they are fighting for the undisputed lightweight title, why hasn’t McGregor indeed been stripped? Does the UFC have something different planned, or will they just call one interim belt an undisputed title and literally have two ‘undisputed’ titles up for grabs as the winner faces Conor McGregor? That is, as Khabib says, if he ever even comes back. …But something tells us he’ll be in the audience that night cheering on Artem Lobov.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/16/2018.