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Khabib puts Max Holloway superfight on ice, targets Ferguson and Poirier instead

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MMA: UFC 231-Holloway vs Ortega Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and UFC featherweight titleholder Max Holloway seem to be on a high-speed collision course for a battle of epic proportion.

Khabib, who is currently awaiting punishment for his role in UFC 229’s infamous post-fight brawl, just choked out combat superstar Conor McGregor to push his undefeated professional record to 27-0. Holloway, on the other hand, just sparked previously unbeaten featherweight contender Brian Ortega at UFC 231 earlier this month to defend his title for a second-straight time and extend his current win streak to an astounding 13.

Add in the fact that Khabib and Holloway were briefly scheduled to fight one another at UFC 223 earlier this year in Brooklyn, and the fact that UFC president Dana White wants Holloway’s next fight to take place at 155 pounds, a matchup between the two UFC champions is inevitable. At least that’s what it seems.

According to Khabib (courtesy of MMA Team Dagestan), Holloway needs to prove his worth at lightweight before challenging for the title. Despite decimating the featherweight division and winning 13 fights in a row, Khabib believes Holloway has to adjust to a new division before a superfight is booked.

“@TeamKhabib: Max is doing well, this is interesting to me, he is my potential rival.. but this is different category for him, other body structure, another wrestling.

“I think he needs to do some fights if he goes into lightweight division, to test your capabilities. This is purely my opinion. After all, in my weight there are those who deserve it more; @TonyFergusonXT, @DustinPoirier ..”

As far as Khabib is concerned, his next title defense should come against either Tony Ferguson, who has been previously scheduled to fight Nurmagomedov on four separate occasions, or Dustin Poirier, who has posted a 8-1 (1 NC) record since returning to lightweight nearly four years ago. In addition to Ferguson and Poirier, Khabib could also enter a rematch with McGregor, who would have to win his next fight to lock down a second shot at “The Eagle.”

With all of those options at his disposal it may take longer than expected for Khabib and Holloway to square off inside of the Octagon. But if Khabib is still undefeated when the two meet, and “Blessed” is able to maintain his insane win streak up until that point, it could end up being one of the biggest fights in MMA history.