While not yet official, Khabib Nurmagomedov is expected to defend his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight title against former interim champion, Tony Ferguson, in the first quarter of 2020.
And though “The Eagle” isn’t looking past “El Cucuy,” he is still eying a potential mega-fight against former UFC Welterweight and Middleweight kingpin, Georges St-Pierre. To hear Khabib tell it, should he get through Ferguson, he wants “Rush” immediately after.
That’s assuming the French-Canadian star and the powers that be over at UFC can settle whatever differences they may have, of course.
“Our opponent is definitely Tony Ferguson. There’s no other name that deserves it. We wanted the GSP fight, but GSP didn’t get along with the UFC,” Nurmagomedov said during an interview with Fight World Tureky (via Middle easy).
“For this reason, our only and most valuable option is Ferguson. However, it is still wrong to say 100 percent it will be this fight without signing the papers. If the UFC and GSP can negotiate, we want to meet GSP after the Ferguson fight.”
UFC President Dana White initially scoffed at the idea of St-Pierre vs Khabib, citing “Rush” leaving him high and dry after winning the 185-pound strap, only to vacate it soon thereafter. You can blame this for that.
Over time, however, White has been opening up to the idea.
“Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib and obviously if Khabib wins that fight, the GSP fight would be a fun fight to make for sure,” said White recently. “I don’t know if you guys have seen pictures of GSP, but he’s looking really, really, really fucking skinny right now. I think right now he’s 10 pounds lighter than Khabib is. Something like that, somebody told me, so that’s pretty crazy.”
If the promotion can create a “BMF” title for Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz, then surely it can come to terms with “Rush” to stage one of the biggest fights in the history of the sport against the most dominant 155-pound fighter of all time.
Nevertheless, UFC has to first lock down a place and date for Khabib vs. Ferguson, and then “The Eagle” has to do his part to topple “El Cucuy,” who hasn’t tasted defeat in six years. Because if Ferguson smashes Khabib, then a fight against St-Pierre loses all of its luster.