Coming of one of the best cards of the summer in UFC 226, the UFC will now shift it’s focus on what’s to come for the remainder of 2018, namely some of the possible big money fights that could headline the UFC’s marquee shows coming this Fall/Winter.
One of those fights being most discussed, is a lightweight super clash between top stars Conor McGregor, and reigning champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov and McGregor have been in each others crosshairs since UFC 205 where they both secured major victories on that night.
Now with both men establishing themselves as two of the UFC’s most popular competitors, there’s not a better time to put these two inside the octagon with each other.
Only thing delaying this process however are Conor McGregor’s legal issues, which looked to get settled in return court hearing a few weeks from now.
Conor has not actively fought in a UFC cage since his historic championship victory at UFC 205 in November 2016.
Knowing the possibility that things could go south in his July 26th hearing, Nurmagomedov is well prepared to move forward and defend his championship this fall despite the outcome of McGregor.
Khabib proceeded to mention the names of the opponents he’d be willing to face should Conor not win his case, and it’s definitely names UFC fans would least expect.
“If not Conor, if not GSP, I think Alvarez vs. Poirier, I think the winner deserves a title shot,” Nurmagomedov told Anatomy of a Fighter recently.
Alvarez and Piorier are scheduled to collide in a much anticipated rematch at UFC on Fox 30, a couple of weeks from now, and it’s obvious the winner of that fight would be most deserving of the next shot at Nurmagomedov’s belt if not both men,
But at the same time, there’s another man that could just as well be mentioned along with Alvarez and Piorier as a possible challenger for Nurmagomedov, he’s a man that Khabib knows all too well and is one of his biggest rivals to date in the UFC, and the former Interim Lightweight Champion, Tony Ferguson.
Khabib stated he doesn’t believe Ferguson, who’s recovering from surgery to repair a torn LCL, will be healthy enough by the time fall hits, however, should Ferguson be at 100% once the fall comes, Nurmagomedov will be more than happy to defend the title against anybody the UFC ask him to.
“About Tony Ferguson, I don’t know,” Nurmagomedov said. “He just had surgery. If he can, why not? Tony Ferguson is biggest match-up for me. This match what I want, what people want, what fans want but I don’t know about his healthy. If he’s ready, let’s go. Why not? I’m ready for September, I’m ready for October, I’m training all the time. I’m here to defend my title. If the UFC gives me any opponent, I’m ready for this, to beat this guy.”
Though Nurmagomedov is willing to give it one last effort to make the Ferguson fight happen for a fifth an final time, it appears that now the undisputed UFC lightweight champion has turned his attention to get what would be the biggest money fight in the sport of MMA if Conor McGregor is finally prepared to do it.
“If they want to make make money, let’s go,” Nurmagomedov said. “Khabib vs. Conor, country vs. country, fans vs. fans. It’s gonna be very big, one of the biggest – I think biggest match-up in UFC history, me vs. Conor. Without bus, without other things, we just have to fight but I don’t think the UFC can make the decision about this fight. About this fight, I think only Conor can make this decision. If he wants to lose and make money, he has to say yes and sign this contract and come back because people forget about when he fought last time.”
Who do you believe will be the first legitimate challenger for Khabib Nurmagomedov’s UFC Lightweight title?