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Morning Report: Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager says star’s ‘done’ with Las Vegas, targeting November return at MSG

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Khabib Nurmagomedov EL Esther Lin

On Tuesday, the NAC finally handed out its punishments over the brawl at UFC 229, and while it could have been worse for the Khabib Nurmagomedov, he still didn’t get off easy. The UFC lightweight champion was fined $500,000 for his role in inciting the riot, and also received a nine-month suspension, retroactive to the date of the incident. That suspension can also be reduced by three months pending Nurmagomedov’s participation in an anti-bullying public service announcement that must be approved by the NAC, which means Nurmagomedov could be eligible to return to competition as early as April.

Except, he says he won’t.

While Nurmagomedov only got nine months, his teammates, Zubaira Tukhugov and Abubakar Nurmagomedov, were given one-year suspensions and Tuesday, Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, said that the lightweight champion is now through with fighting in Nevada and won’t return to competition until November when the suspensions for his teammates are over.

“He’s done with Vegas for giving his brothers such harsh punishment,” Ali Abdelaziz told ESPN. “He loves MSG [Madison Square Garden]. Lots of his fans live around there, and New York has always been good to him. He misses fighting in New York.”

Since the legalization of MMA in New York, the UFC has held a card in Madison Square Garden in November of every year. Nurmagomedov was even part of the UFC’s debut at MSG, submitting Michael Johnson and sowing the seeds for a fight with Conor McGregor. If Nurmagomedov is serious about sitting out in solidarity with his teammates, a return at Madison Square Garden would make sense for him.

Unfortunately, what makes sense for him may not fit with the UFC’s plans for the lightweight division. Should Khabib stay in self-imposed exile until November, that means the UFC lightweight division, already backlogged with contenders, would be sitting on hold for a year and at least one of those contenders is already unhappy about the possibility.

With McGregor seemingly on a collision course with Donald Cerrone - after which he could jump the line for a title shot considering a rematch between him and Nurmagomedov is the biggest fight the UFC can make at this point - Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson are once again left in limbo. But, for the time being, Nurmagomedov seems unconcerned and summed up the entire situation cleanly.


MUST-READ STORIES

$500K. Khabib Nurmagomedov receives nine-month suspension, $500K fine for role in UFC 229 brawl.

$50K. Conor McGregor receives six-month suspension, fined $50,000 for role in UFC 229 brawl.

License. Jon Jones granted one-fight license to compete at UFC 235 after lengthy NAC hearing.

One year. Zubaira Tukhugov, Abubakar Nurmagomedov issued one-year suspensions, fines for roles in UFC 229 brawl.

Let go. Artem Lobov granted release from UFC.


VIDEO STEW

NAC hearing recap.

The entire NAC meeting.

Rockhold committed to fighting Jon Jones.

Funky fight camp.

Another UFC 234 commercial.


LISTEN UP

Eurobash. Interviews with Owen Roddy, Phil De Fries, and Dean Trueman.

Fights Gone By. Remembering the great career of Fedor Emelianenko.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Happy with the result.

Unhappy.

Not a care in the world.

Poirier not interested.

Ready to get back in action.

The GOAT.

Not playing games.

Harsh but fair.

Fighting words.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Veronica Macedo (5-2-1) vs. Gillian Robertson (5-3); UFC Prague, Feb 23.

Arnold Allen (13-1) vs. Jordan Rinald0 (13-6); UFC London, March 16.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Not entirely sure how it makes sense that Khabib gets less time than his teammates when he literally started it, but such is life I suppose. Tony vs. Dustin for the lightweight title in May. Khabib gets winner in November. Unless it’s Tony because we all know that fight will never happen. A meteor will crash into MSG the day of the fight or something.

Anyway, thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

Poll

What do you think about all this?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Khabib should keep the title.
    (1150 votes)
  • 38%
    The UFC should strip Khabib.
    (733 votes)
1883 votes total Vote Now

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