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Manager: Khabib gave Justin Gaethje green light to fight Conor McGregor, but chose to wait for title fight

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, has gone on record to say that the promotion is putting no pressure on Lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, to make his return to action at UFC 253 on Sept. 19, 2020, following the passing of his father.

“The Eagle” was in talks to defend his 155-pound belt against Justin Gaethje at the event, which was tentatively scheduled for “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi. But since the timetable for Khabib’s return is uncertain at the moment, it leaves Gaethje in limbo, too.

Sharing the same management team, Khabib and Gaethje know each other and the mutual respect is there. That’s the reason, according to Ali Abdelaziz, Nurmagomedov recently gave Gaethje the green light to fight Conor McGregor if he didn’t feel like waiting. It was something “The Highlight” was not interested in doing.

Not even a little bit ...

“Justin said no. Khabib told me to tell Justin to go fight Conor. Justin said no,” revealed Abdelaziz in a recent interview with TMZ Sports. “Conor, right now, he can be a back up fighter, he can go make weight and maybe he can make some money. Conor, he can go fight Nate, fight Masvidal. We’re not interested in fighting him.”

There was a time when Gaethje wanted nothing more than to get his hands on “Notorious.” But since he has a title fight in reach, there is no point in settling for a bout against the former UFC “champ-champ” since he isn’t holding any titles at the moment.

“He needs to get some wins and he needs to fight some good opponents,” Abdelaziz said. “I said the only way he fights Khabib is if he fights Islam Makhachev. Then Khabib will fight him.”

Something tells me McGregor wouldn’t be interested in that fight ... at all.

For now, McGregor seems to be holding steadfast in his decision to retire anyway, so there isn’t much movement on that front at the moment. Of course, McGregor has retired numerous times before only to mount a comeback, so the chances of him fighting again are pretty good. He did, however, have a response to Gaethje’s decision to wait in a since-deleted tweet.

If McGregor does return to action in 2020, it won’t be for the 155-pound strap, as Abdelaziz says Khabib and Gaethje will fight each other before 2020 is mercifully over.

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