Khabib Nurmagomedov firmly has his sights set on a fight against current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion, Conor McGregor. That fight, though, won’t happen anytime soon, as “Notorious” is currently taking a well-deserved break after a busy – and history-making — 2016. That said, “The Eagle” will likely take on Tony Ferguson first, in a fight to see who will indeed face the mouthy Irishman next, assuming of course, “El Cucuy” and UFC can hash out their financial dilemmas.
As Nurmagomedov declared during a recent appearance on “The MMA Hour,” once he defeats Ferguson, there’s no denying him a fight against McGregor. And if UFC is smart, it will bank on his popularity in Russia and stage the championship bout in a 80,000-seat arena in Moscow to get more bang for their buck.
“I want to beat Tony Ferguson, take interim bullshit belt, and after fight with Conor for the real belt,” he said. “I am famous in Russia and, we have to say, Conor is famous in Russia, too. If UFC make a promotional tour all over the world, like Rio de Janeiro, Las Vegas, New York, Toronto, London, Moscow, Tokyo, everywhere, you know, make this PR program. And, after this, UFC give me and Conor three months for preparing and make this 80,000 arena in Moscow – I think 100 percent we can sell all these tickets.”
At the end of the day, however, Nurmagomedov says if and when the fight eventually happens — which he says is 50/50 at this point — the promotion will likely stage the bout at Madison Square Garden in New York or T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. First things first, however, as Nurmagomedov has to hope UFC gives Ferguson the coin he feels he deserves — since he rejected his $ 200K bonus offer — to lock up a contender’s fight in 2017.
After that, anything is possible.
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