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Khabib on McGregor getting a title shot with Cerrone win: ‘While I’m champion that won’t happen’

During a fan Q&A, Khabib Nurmagomedov made it clear that he picks who he fights now ... and he isn’t picking Conor McGregor.

The mixed martial arts (MMA) world is still slowly digesting the latest news from Dana White that Conor McGregor will get a shot at the lightweight title (and his nemesis Khabib Nurmagomedov, should he still be holding it) if McGregor beats Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 in January. For starters, both fighters aren’t exactly on impressive win streaks. Then there’s the issue of their fight being contested at 170 pounds. Does beating “Cowboy” in a different weight class make you deserving of a title shot in the most competitive division in the UFC?

Justin Gaethje certainly doesn’t think so.

Neither does Khabib Nurmagomedov, who shared his thoughts on the fight during a recent fan Q&A session.

The question: “In January, Conor McGregor’s fighting Donald Cerrone ... who do you think will win?”

”I think Cerrone lost seven or eight of his last ten fights,” a dismissive Khabib said (translation via RT Sports). “The other one’s going into his fourth year of no victories. It’s like the minor leagues - it doesn’t really matter who wins there.”

Nurmagomedov has been pretty adamant since defeating McGregor the first time that he wasn’t interested in another fight against the Irishman. It’s the Tony Fergusons and Georges St-Pierres of the world that interest him. The way Khabib talks, McGregor is less than a joke to him, and unlike most posturing fighters we actually believe him when he says ‘nah’ to a red panty night.

And this is a pretty emphatic nah.

”I’m surprised that Dana White is saying that if Conor beats Cerrone and I beat Tony Ferguson, there will be a rematch,” Nurmagomedov continued. “I decide who I’m going to fight next. To fight me he has to cut weight first, down to 155 pounds, and win ten fights in a row like I did. Then we’ll think about a rematch. But for now he can fight second rate fighters who lose seven out of ten fights at 170 pounds. But to think he deserves the lightweight belt ... while I’m champion that won’t happen, so everything’s all right. Don’t worry.”

As firm as he sounds, we feel like the worldwide peer pressure to go through with a rematch will eventually become too much even for a man like Khabib ... especially with his father’s infamous influence factored in. Just not after a single win at welterweight. Fortunately, it sounds like Conor McGregor came in thinking he’d need two wins to earn his shot.

Back to back impressive victories over a 4-5 month span? Now that’s the kind of thing that gets a hype train going directly to superfight central.

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