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Morning Report: Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father says they’re open to Conor McGregor rematch but want Tony Ferguson next year first

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

In the UFC lightweight division there’s one thing for certain, there is no shortage of possible opponents for champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. But while just the week UFC President Dana White finally started coming around to the idea of a Nurmagomedov-Georges St-Pierre superfight, now it appears his own father is warming to the idea of a rematch with Khabib’s most Notorious foe, Conor McGregor.

Khabib demolished McGregor in their first meeting at UFC 229 and since then, McGregor has been adamant about securing a rematch but Nurmagomedov and his team have been cool to the idea, preferring instead to chase fights with other worthy contenders in the division or a dream fight with St-Pierre. But speaking recently to Zhivina100 (per RT Sport) Khabib’s father and coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov is now suggesting that the McGregor rematch could indeed happen, possibly next year in Khabib’s home country.

“If McGregor wants it, then Moscow is waiting for him,” Abdulmanap said. “He said once that he has more fans here than Khabib. We want to host him in Moscow, he is welcome – we are waiting.”

The Khabib-McGregor fight has quickly turned into the stuff of legends. After Nurmagomedov’s dominant win, he infamously hurdled the fence to attack McGregor’s team, inciting a brawl that resulted in a number of suspensions and fines. Since that time, McGregor has yet to compete again while Nurmagomedov only recently returned to action, submitting Dustin Poirier to retain his title at UFC 242. Khabib’s next title defense is presumed to be Tony Ferguson and Abdulmanap admits that first this fight has to happen for sporting reasons before they can start trying to settle old scores with McGregor.

“But before McGregor we should finish our business with Ferguson,” Abdulmanap said. “Because he had 28 fights, and runs a 12-fight winning streak in the UFC, just like Khabib. Such winning streaks and such big fights have never happened in the UFC.”

Abdulmanap is correct, a fight between Ferguson and Nurmagomedov would be unprecedented. Unfortunately the fight has already been attempted on four separate occasions but has fallen through each time. In 2015, the two were set to face each other at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale but Khabib was forced to withdraw due to a rib injury. The fight was then rebooked for UFC on FOX 19 but this time Ferguson withdrew due to injury. Later, they were set up for a third bout but before weigh-ins, Nurmagomedov was pulled from the card and taken to the hospital due to a failed weight cut. Then finally the two were set to compete for the vacant UFC lightweight title at UFC 223 but Ferguson tripped and tore a knee ligament a week before the event. But apparently fifth time is the charm because Adbulmanap says they’re planning to defend the lightweight title against Ferguson next, and they even have a location in mind, though Ferguson is going to have to wait some time.

”So I think Madison Square Garden is a good place for this fight, but we won’t fight earlier than March,” Abdulmanap said.

That’s at least five months away. It looks like it’s going to be a long winter.


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Interesting that Khabib’s dad has no issues with Khabib returning to Las Vegas considering the fines levied against his son there. But I guess big business is big business.

Thanks for reading, enjoy the fights, and see y’all on Monday.



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