Manager Scoffs at Conor McGregor Title Shot Talk, Tells Star to Fight Justin Gaethje
UFC President Dana White has said the plan is to have Conor McGregor fight for the lightweight title next. But, Khabib Nurmagomedov's manager has made it clear they still don't think the star deserves another crack at the belt.
Following Conor McGregor’s quick win over Donald Cerrone at UFC 246, UFC President Dana White has said the plan’s to have the star fight the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Tony Ferguson. But, the lightweight champ’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, has other ideas.
Abdelaziz wasn’t impressed with McGregor’s win
Leading up to UFC 246, all the talk was about what could come next for McGregor if he won. There was considerable buzz (and still is) about him fighting Jorge Masvidal next. But, due to how massive a championship fight with him would be, everyone knew that the UFC would likely push for McGregor to fight for the belt again.
Well, since McGregor ran through Cerrone, White’s been doing just that. Recently TMZ Sports caught up with Abdelaziz, however, and he had this to say about McGregor’s win and the possibility of a title shot (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“All this talking – it doesn’t make sense. We have to beat Tony,” Abdelaziz said. “Conor can say whatever he wants, but my advice to Conor: ‘Hey (expletive), go fight Justin Gaethje. Get a win, and after that come back for a title shot.’ That’s it.
“You can’t get a title fight beating a guy who’s 36 years old, coming off a loss,” Abdelaziz said. “If he wants to fight a title shot like Khabib said, he needs to start fighting guys like Gaethje, like Islam Makhachev – these kind of young guys, up-and-coming, who are coming off wins. He knocked out the guy (Gaethje) just knocked out.
“Of course I’m not impressed. It was a good performance. He treated Cerrone the way he should have treated him.”
There you have it, and even if you’re a big McGregor supporter, you’re likely aware that Abdelaziz isn’t the only person who feels this way. While Cerrone has had an amazing career, he was coming off losses to Ferguson and Gaethje before fighting Conor. So, if it weren’t for the fact that McGregor is a massive, massive star, he wouldn’t be locking up another title shot of that win. Especially since Khabib submitted him in his last bout prior.
But will McGregor fight Gaethje or Islam Makhachev?
Immediately after McGregor won last month, he said he doesn’t want to wait on the sidelines to face the winner of the April 18th bout between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson. But, as noted above, it seems clear the UFC doesn’t want to risk losing McGregor’s chance to fight for the belt again.
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Now, if McGregor absolutely insists on fighting in the interim, it’s possible the UFC could grant his wish. The other factor to consider here is if Khabib beats Tony, and outright refuses to fight Conor unless he records another win. Would the UFC be willing to strip Khabib of the belt if that happened? Who has also become one of the biggest names in MMA?