Khabib Says Most Important Fight At Lightweight Doesn’t Include Conor McGregor

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Undefeated lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov will make his long awaited return to action in the co-main event of this weekend’s (Dec. 30, 2017) UFC 219 against Edson Barboza.

If victorious, “The Eagle” will immediately re-insert himself into title discussions, although he’s aware that the division is in a bit of a ‘weird’ state right now.

With divisional champion Conor McGregor’s future in the Octagon unclear, Nurmagomedov said that the most important fight at 155 pounds is a bout between him and interim titleholder Tony Ferguson:

“Conor made $100 million [to fight Floyd Mayweather in August]? Why would he come back for $10-15 million?” Nurmagomedov told ESPN.com. “I think Conor needs big motivation to fight because he has money. He’s already a two-division champ.”

“In the lightweight division, the most important fight is me and Tony. I have to fight with Tony. This weight division is a little bit weird right now, but I’m going to change this at the end of the year. In March or April, I’m going to fight Tony for the title.”

“The Eagle” was originally scheduled to take on Ferguson last March, but he was forced to withdraw from the fight just a day prior due to weight cutting issues. Because of that, many have questioned whether or not he’ll successfully make the 155-pound limit for his fight against Barboza, but he confirmed that his weight is under control:

“This fight is very important because people are talking about how I cannot make weight,” he said. “The last time, this was my fault. That’s why people are waiting — to see if I can make weight and stay busy.”

“The last week, I’m going to cut, like, 13 pounds. I have never been this light. The last week will be 13 to 15 pounds.”

Do you expect Nurmagomedov to make weight and remain unbeaten against Barboza?

  • Draven

    He doesn’t deserve to face Ferguson. He can keep on waiting or take a fight guys ranked below him.

    • leonaidis

      He has the longest win streak in the division, he’s been out because of weight/health issues for shorter than Conor has just avoided fighting because….???? And Khabib doesn’t deserve to fight Ferguson??? He deserves it, and wants it, a hell of a lot more than Conor, who’s trying to avoid anyone in the top 5.

      If, and that’s a big if, Conor comes back to fight, it will be against a mediocre, stoned, out of shape Diaz.

      Conor wants no part of Khabib or Ferguson. He, and his fans, know it wont end well. That’s why McG nuthuggers say Khabib doesn’t deserve it. They don’t want Conor fighting the best and shattering their illusions.

      • Draven

        Khabib has been ranked #1 or 2 the last three years or so and still can’t get a title shot due to being unreliable and incompetent. 24-0 doesn’t mean shit when the majority of the guys he beat were nobodies with the exception of Johnson and RDA. He needs to fight guys below him to show he can do his job regularly and be reliable with his weight issue.

        • leonaidis

          There’s a big difference in not being able to fight, and not fighting. I’m not defending Khabib for missing weight, getting injured etc etc. I’m just saying him and Ferguson are without a doubt the two best fighters in the 155 division.

          Conor hasn’t fought in over a year, and he got a title shot after beating a barely top 10 Nate Diaz, so you are right, the ufc should really have these guys work their way up the rankings, and not just hand out title fights to people who then wont defend it.

          • Draven

            Yes they’re but khabib has proven to be injury prone and unreliable when it comes to big fights that matter. He can remain top ranked all he wants but he doesn’t deserve a title shot until he proves himself and that he earn it. Right now he’s proved to be the complete opposite that is injury prone and constantly missing weight.

            He needs to fight guys below him and Edson Barboza is a good start.

          • leonaidis

            Why doesn’t the same apply to Conor? He gets title fights without ever fighting anybody. And he takes year of without any legit excuse.

          • Draven

            We’re not talking about Conor. I don’t need to speak about him. Khabib has been at the top for years but has still yet to get a title shot due to his incompetence. His history of not making weight and being injury prone shows he isn’t bound to be a champion.

          • Bill Wolf

            And Edson Barboza might simply beat Khabib Nurmagomedov.

          • Draven

            He just might.

            There’s no denying Barboza has improved. His wins over Pettis and Melendez were even more convincing than Eddie’s split decisions over them. And his KO of Dariush shows he’s now a high level mixed martial artist and not the same guy who easily lost to Cerrone and Varner.

          • Bill Wolf

            Exactly.

  • Bill Wolf

    The most important fight in the lightweight division is Tony Ferguson versus whoever shows up.