Prior to winning the UFC’s lightweight title, Khabib Nurmagomedov said he would make Conor McGregor beg for a shot at the belt. But, it looks like the wheels are already in motion for the fight to happen, providing one thing.
Recently Nurmagomedov attended a Q&A at a university in Russia, and according to a follow up report from MMA NYTT, the new champ said the following, when asked about fighting McGregor:
“We’re talking, but if it takes too long, I don’t want to do that.,” Nurmagomedov said via a translator.
“If he wants to fight this year, then we can fight.
“Otherwise, I don’t know.
“We won’t wait long. I want to fight Conor and if he can fight, I will fight him.”
So, it’s looking like this will come down to McGregor, and whether he reaches terms on a new deal with the UFC. There’s no question that Nurmagomedov – McGregor is the bout everyone wants to see right now, and many believe, rightfully so, it could be the biggest fight in MMA history.
But, does McGregor want to fight Khabib? Could he be sidetracked by say, a MMA bout with Floyd Mayweather? It’s kind of hard to imagine the UFC signing off on that, when they have Nurmagomedov – McGregor as a go to. Unless, the Irish star makes it clear he’s not in fact interested in legitimizing his status as a top lightweight, after all.
McGregor aside, Nurmagomedov noted that he doesn’t believe Tony Ferguson will be fighting anytime soon, on account of the recent knee surgery he had. The new champ also brought up Eddie Alvarez, who has been campaigning for a fight with Khabib. So what did he have to say? Apparently, Nurmagomedov said he’ll tell Eddie to “take a hike”.
So, clearly it doesn’t look like he’s interested in fighting Alvarez next, and that’s not too surprising really. Eddie is only two fights removed from his loss to McGregor, and most folks have Dustin Poirier ahead of the former champ, in terms of the title shot hunt.
Nurmagomedov won the vacant lightweight title earlier this month at UFC 223, by defeating Al Iaquinta.