Undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is often called the most dominant fighter in all of mixed martial arts (MMA).
What he’s not regarded as is the most active fighter in MMA. ‘The Eagle’ has a long history with serious injuries that limited him to only one fight from September 2013 to April 2016. He rebounded well to win the UFC lightweight championship and defend it against Conor McGregor at UFC 229 last October.
Nurmagomedov is now rumored to unify the titles with current interim champion Dustin Poirier in the main event of September 7’s UFC 242. That will have put him out of action for close to a year. He’ll soon observe the Muslim one-month fasting period of Ramadan beginning Monday. That apparently won’t affect his plans to be an incredibly active fighter once he does return.
Khabib’s agent Ali Abdelaziz told ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto that the champion is looking to defend his belt against Poirier in September and again in December. After that, he’ll look to make it three fights in the next 8 months by fighting recently retired legend Georges St-Pierre:
“He gave me very specific instructions. He said he wants to fight Sept. 7 and again in December. And if [former welterweight champion] Georges St-Pierre can figure things out with the UFC by April, that’s the deal. He would like that fight in April.”
Keep The Division Moving
St-Pierre retired from active MMA competition this February. He reportedly attempted to get a dream match-up with Khabib booked, but couldn’t come to terms with the UFC. “GSP” last fought in late 2017 when he beat then-champion Michael Bisping at UFC 217 before vacating the title shortly thereafter.
It’s a potentially historic fight that would definitely do big numbers as one of the most anticipated super fights of all-time. But even if St-Pierre doesn’t agree to come back, Abdelaziz insists Khabib will be an active, defending champion. He noted that Nurmagomedov fought Conor McGregor, Al Iaquinta, and Edson Barboza in less than a year’s time.
The St-Pierre fight is icing on the cake, yet it could be any title contender according to Abdelaziz:
“The lightweight division has a lot of contenders, and we need to keep the division going,” Abdelaziz said. “Khabib has done this before. He fought [Edson Barboza], Al [Iaquinta] and Conor [McGregor] in less than one year [from December 2017 to October 2018]. If it can be Georges in April, he would love that fight. If not, it can be any contender.”
Conor Not Deserving?
Although not officially announced, Khabib is expected to take on the surging “Diamond” in September. “The Eagle” is still serving his nine-month suspension for inciting the infamous UFC 229 post-fight brawl. An immediate rematch with Conor McGregor was teased many a time, but Abdelaziz said ‘The Notorious’ just doesn’t deserve it:
“To be honest, Conor is going to have to go out there and fight somebody like Justin Gaethje, Tony Ferguson or Cowboy [Donald Cerrone],” Abdelaziz said. “He’s not a worthy enough opponent right now. That’s the feeling from all of us, as a team.”
Those would all be big fights. As we noted today, the UFC should just book McGregor vs. Cerrone as a huge match-up to determine the next title contender at 155. If Khabib does get past Poirier as most predict, ‘The Eagle’ can fight the winner in December before potentially looking towards a St-Pierre match-up.
Khabib’s star is only growing, and pulling off three title bouts before next April would only help boost that into the stratosphere.