Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Manager Punts Talk of Rematch With Conor McGregor
Talk about a rematch between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov is spiking again, but the latter's manager insists they have other plans for the lightweight champ.
As Conor McGregor prepares to return to the Octagon, speculation and debate about whether he’ll battle Khabib Nurmagomedov later this year is making the rounds again. But, the lightweight champ’s manager has made it clear they have other ideas about Khabib’s short term future.
Ali Abdelaziz shoots down talk of Nurmagomedov – McGregor 2
Ever since McGregor was submitted by Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October, 2018, he’s campaigned for a rematch with the undefeated fighter. Khabib has repeatedly said that McGregor, who has not won a fight since 2016, needs to score several wins before that’s a possibility.
But, recently UFC President Dana White said that if McGregor beats Donald Cerrone at UFC 246, January 18th, he’ll be next in line for a title shot. Khabib is booked to face former interim lightweight champ, Tony Ferguson, on April 18th.
Well, recently TMZ Sports caught up with Khabib’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz. When asked about the possibility of a rematch between the champ and McGregor materializing, he said this (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“Listen, Dana’s the greatest promoter in history (and) I respect the man very much,” he said. “He has to make people care about Conor. And by mentioning Khabib’s name, he is making Conor more relevant. It’s OK. He promote, can do whatever. Khabib has a plan, Dana has a plan, sometimes we’ll get upset, sometimes we’ll agree. But business moves on.
“But Conor’s not on our radar. He might lose to “Cowboy” as far as I understand. I think he might lose.”
“What about guys like Justin Gaethje?” Abdelaziz added, while discussing possible opponents for Khabib. “He’s been winning and knocking people out. Logically, he is (the next top contender). He’s ranked number three. Number two, Dustin Poirier, fought for the title. That’s the only fight that makes sense for him, for his career, to fight the champion.”
Where could this lead?
So, the fact that Abdelaziz is backing up the lightweight champ, in terms of McGregor not deserving a rematch, is not surprising. Really, strictly from a meritocratic perspective, Gaethje should be next for the winner of Nurmagomedov – Ferguson.
But, we all know that money plays a massive role in matchmaking, and often the decisive one. So, if McGregor beats Cerrone and Khabib gets by Ferguson, it looks like things could get heated between the champ and the UFC. Nurmagomedov has repeatedly said he doesn’t need the money, so, what could change his mind here? Could McGregor’s continual challenges and verbal attacks? Maybe.
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UFC 246 will be hosted by T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.