We don’t yet know what’s going to happen with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight titleholder, Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is expected to face some sort of disciplinary action at next month’s hearing in front of Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
Best case scenario? He’s docked a portion of his fight purse — already being held — and gets cleared to return by early spring, which not only meets his timeline for return, but also gives division No. 1 contender, Tony Ferguson, the ability to begin fight camp.
But if Nurmagomedov draws a significant suspension for his role in the UFC 229 post-fight brawl, then the lightweight title will be put on ice, since promotion president Dana White refuses to strip “The Eagle” of his 155-pound strap.
If that’s the case, then top contender, Dustin Poirier, wants to enter the fray.
“Let’s get this (expletive) going,” Poirier told MMA Junkie. “I’m sick of this. I want to fight Tony and if it’s not Tony, good for Tony, he’s (expletive) more than earned his shot at Khabib. He’s definitely next in line for the world championship. He’s ahead of me. I agree. But if that’s not going to happen, let’s let the two best guys who are available go at it. Or let me and Conor go at it.”
White is clearly on board with a Poirier vs. McGregor fight, just as he’s ready to book Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson for the 437th time. That said, there are no guarantees McGregor makes his mixed martial arts (MMA) return after embarking on his successful whiskey tour.
And if he does, a “Diamond” rematch may force the resignation of his “Notorious” coach.
These are all forward-looking statements at the moment and the future of the lightweight division is in the hands of NSAC. Until then, all we can do is wait, though we also have the winner of this fight to consider for the 2019 title picture.