When Khabib Nurmagomedov submitted Conor McGregor at UFC 229, it did more than just give him his biggest win ever, it also finally put to bed the specter “Notorious” cast over the UFC’s lightweight division for the last two years. Now, unencumbered by the question of when “the real champ” might return, the 155-pound division is free to get back to business as usual.
Or is it?
Having just dominated the biggest star in the sport, on the biggest stage, and making the biggest headlines of the year afterwards, Khabib is now a household name and, arguably, one of the biggest stars in the UFC aside from McGregor. Big stars tend to want big fights and while all logic and reason would have Nurmagomedov defend his title against Tony Ferguson next, rumors abound that the UFC is looking at a superfight with Georges St-Pierre instead. And while fans may not love that idea, some people are all for it, including UFC double champ and Nurmagomedov teammate, Daniel Cormier.
“Khabib has a number of options,” Cormier said recently on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “Tony is great. I don’t dislike Tony Ferguson at all. I think he’s a phenomenal fighter, this dude’s a beast. I think he’s the tougher matchup for Khabib but I say do Khabib vs. Georges St-Pierre. That’s the fight. It’s big.”
Of course that leaves Tony Ferguson in the lurch. He and Nurmagomedov have been scheduled to fight each other on four separate occasions, but the two have never managed to stand across the cage from one another. Given Nurmagomedov’s managers recent social media posts, it seems like a fifth scheduling is not coming anytime soon. One bright spot for Ferguson though is that at least Khabib won’t be putting his lightweight title on the line. Cormier says that a superfight between Khabib and GSP would be held at a 165-pound catchweight.
“Matchup wise, Tony, tough, GSP, super tough; but the history and the matchup of a GSP fight, at 165. . .” Cormier said. “It doesn’t have to be for a belt. This is a big enough fight that it doesn’t have to be for a title. Make it a catchweight fight. When you’ve got names like Khabib and Georges, it can be for anything. Let those guys fight.”
St-Pierre is one of only five men to win titles in multiple divisions in the UFC. He most recently won the UFC middleweight belt with a submission victory over Michael Bisping last year. He then relinquished the title to manage health issues but as recently as this summer said he would be interested in a fight with Khabib. A win over St-Pierre would be an enormous feather in Nurmagomedov’s cap and give him a non-official claim at being the UFC’s first three-division champion. But first he’d have to get the job done, something Cormier thinks would be possible but incredibly difficult.
“Khabib wins but this is his closest fight ever because you don’t just control Georges St-Pierre,” concluded Cormier. “But you’re asking me a loaded question because I’m never gonna say Khabib’s gonna lose.
“I think it’s a five-round decision. You don’t finish Georges St-Pierre, unless you are Matt Serra.”
Daniel Cormier defends his UFC heavyweight title this Saturday against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Why he left. Demetrious Johnson breaks down why ONE-UFC deal happened.
AYFKM. Dana White: Demetrious Johnson ‘never really got the love and the respect’ he deserved from fans.
Prove it. Ben Askren plans to prove his greatness without fighting Tyron Woodley for title.
Shift. Kevin Kay, key figure in MMA history, replaced by Viacom as head of Paramount Network.
DUI. Stephan Bonnar arrested on felony DUI charge after being restrained by citizens.
Suspended. USADA suspends Polo Reyes six months for tainted supplement.
The MMA Hour.
Devin Clark getting attacked with Wolverine claws.
Chael on Tito-Chuck III.
The Co-Main Event. Discussing UFC 230, Anthony Smith, and MMA trades.
Anik & Florian. Recapping UFC Moncton plus Frank Trigg and Din Thomas.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Wow. Just wow.
Come on, man.
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I support the legendary Native American warriors and I am tirelessly hunting this @cowboycerrone for his crimes of defamation ! I will catch him across state lines in Denver Colorado, November 10th for alll the people of the world to see the battle between #Cowboy vs #ThePlatinumWarrior #1PercentNative #AmericanCulture #CowboysAnIndians #25Years #2500Years #LoveMyNativePeople #CominForYouCowboy #13Days #AaaaGgggHhhhhhhh
Ali with the respectful disrespect.
You’re a good guy and you deserve a big fight. You should fight conor or Nate or Gaethje or gsp I’m a big fan and love watching you fight but you’re one of the easiest fights in the top 5 stylistically for the eagle https://t.co/Zqe2acgU7z— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) October 29, 2018
An impressive run, no doubt.
I’m coming for that belt. Line them up and I’ll finish them one by one. 3 fights, 3 finishes in the past 5 months - two former world champs and the #2 LHW contender. #Lionheart pic.twitter.com/gueXPdyLju— Anthony Smith (@lionheartsmith) October 29, 2018
Vettori coming out about getting popped by USADA.
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Hi guys, many of you are asking me everyday when my next fight is going to be, so I thought to do this video to explain you the current situation. It is right that you know from me what happened, that I can tell you what happened in the most straightforward way possible. At the seventh USADA test, I was found positive for a very low trace of ostarine, and since August Im still in the middle of the process of it and I’m waiting for final news. No official press release has yet been done, because the new USADA policy is to say nothing until the confirmation of all the tests, given the many cases of contamination or accidental, like mine. Since the beginning of my career I have always been a clean fighter, I have never intentionally assumed anything that could favor my performances inside the cage because I am convinced that the results are the result of sacrifice, dedication, blood and sweat. This is just a small stop on the way to achieve what I have set. As soon as I will be allowed to return to the cage, I will do it as always at my best and with only one goal in mind. I thank Jeff Notivky for helping me understand the steps in this process with the USADA and I thank the USADA for keeping our sport clean. I thank my team and all of you who follow me everyday. I have never stopped training and I will never do it, the goal remains the same. #theitaliandream
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Здравствуйте друзья . Я очень расстроенная Я получила травму и не смогу иметь бой. Хочу поблагодорить свою команду за роботу @gor__mma . Хочу извенится перед соперницей Арианой Липски . Это спорт. Всем спасибо за понимание Hi friends. I am very sad I got injured and not be able to have a fight. I want to say thank you my team @gor__mma. this is a sport.
Now that they are doing Trades they could trade the Artem Lobov for @PatricioPitbull or another real beast— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) October 28, 2018
The UFC would want the entire roster in exchange for Lobov, perhaps we could send them Dillon Danis in exchange for their Featherweight division. https://t.co/2ZDsCQu6rO— Patricio Freire (@PatricioPitbull) October 29, 2018
Erik Perez (18-6) vs. Andres Ayala (12-6); Combate Americas, Nov. 17.
Andre Arlovski (27-17, 1 NC vs. Walt Harris (11-7); UFC 232, Dec. 29.
Rumor is that Khabib-GSP is in the works, possibly for 165 belt. If that happens, it’s both a huge fight, and an abomination. I’m all for it. Let’s burn this MFer to the ground.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow!
Who does Khabib fight next?
This poll is closed
Come on, man. You know the Tony fight will fall through and he’ll face Anthony Pettis or something
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