When Khabib Nurmagomedov was questing for the UFC lightweight title, he derided all those champs that didn’t fight and defend their belts. He would end this system of #1 bulls**t and bring honor back to the 155 pound division by fighting all the contenders.
Then Khabib choked out Conor McGregor and took a flying stomp into the Irishman’s corner, earning him who knows how long of a suspension. Since then we haven’t heard too much about defending the belt against all comers. Instead, it’s Mayweather this and Mayweather that, with occasional McGregor rematch talk mixed in.
The latest? Khabib’s father and head coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov telling the Russian media what it will take to get his son back in the cage for a rematch with Conor.
Allowing Nurmagomedov to fight in Russia would also help when it came to getting the Dagestani native to sign on the dotted line.
”As an active fighter, defending his UFC belt, Khabib has 3-4 fights left,” Abdulmanap said. “I always had this dream - one fight (in Russia). Wherever, whenever, whoever. For the UFC to give us that. And I will be fighting for that right. We’ve spent almost an eternity (in the sport). With injuries, and without them, thinking of retiring, thinking of staying, thinking of the health. We came back, we proved our point, we won it. That is it. There is no motivation left. We won the belt, defended it.”
And after months of nothing but superfight talk, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov opened the door to the other challengers at 155.
”There are some other guys who deserve it and are waiting for Khabib,” he said. “We should respect them as fighters. We should consider that as well - Poirier, Ferguson. Ferguson, I think fully deserves it. He’s number one sports-wise. But if we want to attract the fans, make some money, hype it up, increase the following. It could be Diaz. The opportunity is there, we’ve got time to choose.”
”Our task is to get prepared, perform and win,” he concluded. “The promotion’s task is to prepare a new contract, which should consider our interests: one fight, wherever, whenever, whoever. We are making a choice and calling it a deal. If in Moscow — then in Moscow. In Sochi — then in Sochi. In St. Petersburg — then in St. Petersburg. In Ekaterinburg — sure.”
First Khabib will have to win a battle with the Nevada State Athletic Commission over that brawl he kicked off after beating McGregor at UFC 229. UFC president Dana White has said anything above a 1 year suspension would be unfair, but we have a feeling the commission might throw the book at Nurmagomedov and bench him for so long, we may not even get to see him compete in 2019. All for a jumping stomp attack on Dillon Danis. Worth it?