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?