Khabib Nurmagomedov recently said he’s hoping to fight Tony Ferguson next, but Edson Barboza’s reporting he’s been offered a scrap with “The Eagle”.
So far, 2017 has unfolded without an Octagon appearance from Nurmagomedov. The galaxy class grappler was booked to fight Ferguson back in March, but medical issues he encountered while attempting to make weight, forced him out of the contest. Since then, there’s been a lot of talk about what will come next for Nurmagomedov, but nothing’s been booked. More recently, UFC brass relayed that the undefeated fighter was offered a fight with Ferguson at UFC 216, but, Nurmagomedov wasn’t ready to make his return.
Well, during a recent episode of “The MMA Hour”, Nurmagomedov said he wants to fight Ferguson on December 30th, and he also said he thinks Conor McGregor should fight Nate Diaz next. Barboza, however, has reported this about Nurmagomedov (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“They offered me this fight and I accepted it,” Barboza said. “I said I’ll be ready for December 30, and it’s on him now. We’ll see what he does. I saw an interview with him yesterday and he said he’ll fight me if Conor fights Ferguson, and Dana (White) already said that fight will happen, so I believe my next fight will be against Khabib.”
“I definitely want to fight him,” Barboza added. “He’s definitely one of the best and I respect him, I respect his team. He’s definitely one of the best 155 in the world. He’s the No. 2 and I’m the No. 3, and that’s the fight that makes sense for us.”
From a ranking’s perspective, Barboza – Nurmagomedov would certainly make sense. After all, the latter is ranked #2, and Barboza’s #3, as he noted. So, if the UFC’s hoping to book McGregor – Ferguson for the coming months, having Barboza and Nurmagomedov fight for the next crack at the belt, would be the way to go right?
But, just because this makes sense on paper, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Nurmagomedov’s camp might want to hold off on agreeing to anything, until more is known about McGregor’s plans.