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Khabib’s manager says Conor McGregor should fight Justin Gaethje to get a title shot

Ali Abdelaziz continues to insist McGregor needs to do more to earn a title shot in his and Khabib’s eyes. But does the UFC agree?

If the UFC gets its way, Conor McGregor’s next fight will be against Khabib Nurmagomedov sometime in the fall. Which will make oodles and oodles of money, but will be difficult to shepherd on account of Khabib having to beat Tony Ferguson in April, Khabib having to be healthy to accept a rematch with McGregor in the fall, and McGregor making it clear that he doesn’t want to sit on the shelf getting dusty waiting for the 155 pound title.

How it will all play out is one of the most interesting questions of 2020, but just to shape your mind on where public facing negotiations are between Team Conor and Team Khabib, here’s Khabib’s agent Ali Abdelaziz demanding McGregor beat a top lightweight contender (preferably one of the top lightweight contenders he manages, it seems) before making demands of Nurmagomedov.

”You can’t get a title fight by beating a guy who is 36 years old coming off a loss,” Abdelaziz told TMZ. “If he wants to fight a title shot, like Khabib said, he needs to start fighting guys like [Justin] Gaethje, guys like Islam Makhachev. These types of young guys, up and coming. Who is coming off wins. He knocked out the guy [Gaethje] just knocked out. He not gonna get a title. I’m not impressed. It was a good performance. He treated Cerrone the way he should have treated him.”

”But at the end of the day it’s a huge fight but Khabib is all about principle. Khabib is going to do what is best for him. The best for Khabib is to focus on Tony Ferguson. After Tony? The rankings say it’s Justin. Justin Gaethje. In the meantime if Conor thinks he’s next for a shot he should fight Justin Gaethje. Conor needs to start beating some guys that are relevant, like Khabib’s father says.”

Ali might as well have been wearing a McGregor vs. Gaethje t-shirt, foam hand, and novelty oversized hat.

”Conor can say whatever he wants but my advice to Conor?” he finished. “I say hey bitch, fight Justin Gaethje, get a win, and after that go back for a title shot.”

Khabib and his manager seem pretty clear on their demands, but UFC president Dana White thinks it’s all press nonsense.

”The reality is Khabib has never turned down a fight ever,” White said after McGregor’s win at UFC 246. “Khabib doesn’t turn down fights. That’s just not his style. He hates Conor McGregor. And Conor McGregor hates him. So whenever you talk about one to the other, that’s the kind of response you’re going to get.”

What do you think, Maniacs? Are Ali and Khabib bluffing or do you think McGregor really needs to win some more fights before he has a right to challenge for Nurmagomedov’s belt?

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