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Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Manager Says Champ Will Fight in 2020

Before Khabib Nurmagomedov’s [1] father Abdulmanap, passed away earlier this month due to complications from COVID-19, the expectation was the UFC champ would fight again in September.  But, on account of the tragic circumstances, it isn’t clear yet when the undefeated lightweight will return to the Octagon.

Well, although the champ’s manager Ali Abdelaziz hasn’t provided a firm date for Khabib’s return, he is reporting the champ will fight before the year is up.

Image Credit: YouTube

Abdelaziz says Justin Gaethje fight will take place in 2020

Since the MMA world was rocked by the news Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov had died,  [2]UFC President Dana White has repeatedly said he’s not going to push Khabib on when he plans to fight again.

Not only was the champ extremely close with his father, Abdulmanap was also one of his coaches. In fact, due to how much money Khabib has made, some have wondered if he could decide to retire.

More recently Abdelaziz spoke with TMZ Sports [3], and he reported that the champ intends to fight Justin Gaethje this year (quotes via MMA Fighting [4]).

“Khabib is not retiring,” Abdelaziz said. “Khabib has some goals, he has some things he wants to accomplish. You will see him before the end of the year.

Now him and Dana (are) talking and me talking to the matchmakers and we’ll try to set a date. I’m sure Dana is gonna let everybody know when Khabib is gonna fight.

“We have a blockbuster main event, him versus Justin Gaethje, two of the best lightweights in the world today and the recent era.

We see what Khabib does to all his opponents. We see what Justin Gaethje did his last four opponents. He dismantled Tony Ferguson. He made him look like an absolute amateur and that’s the best two guys in the world. They’re gonna fight.”

So, if you’re excited to see Nurmagomedov and Gaethje fight (and you should be….), then this is good news. 

Abdelaziz shoots down talk of Conor McGregor fight again

Due to the rivalry Khabib and Conor McGregor have, and because how massive their fight was, Abdelaziz rarely has an interview where he’s not asked about a rematch. But, as he’s said repeatedly before, their not interested in fighting McGregor again until he records more pivotal wins.

“Listen, we dictate this,” Abdelaziz said. “Conor right now he can be a backup fighter, he can go make weight, and he can maybe make some money, but at the end of the day, that’s the two champions.

He’s not even number three. He’s number four or five. Conor can go fight Nate (Diaz) or (Jorge) Masvidal. We’re not interested in fighting him. He needs to get some wins and he needs to fight some good opponents.”

Of course, it’s also worth noting here that McGregor is apparently retired. [5]So, it remains to be seen if he fights anyone again, let alone Khabib.