Khabib Nurmagomedov is coming off of a third-round submission win over Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 to defend his lightweight title. The fight was like a home fight for the Muslim champion as he fought in Abu Dhabi.
Yet, Nurmagomedov wants a real home fight in his next one. And, he says there is a good chance his next fight will be in his home country of Russia.
“Negotiations are continuing with the UFC. I really want to fight in Russia,” Khabib told Russia’s Channel 1. “In St. Petersburg there’s a closed arena [Gazprom Arena]. In Moscow, Luzhniki Stadium is open… I was there at the [football] World Cup final when it rained, if that kind of rain happened it would ruin an [MMA] event. In St. Petersburg the stadium seats 75,000 people, I could fight there. In a small arena it wouldn’t work.
“I really want to fight here, talks are continuing, I’m about 80 percent sure my next fight will be in Russia,” Nurmagomedov concluded.
Whether or not the UFC makes that happen is to be seen. Tony Ferguson wants that fight to happen in Vegas in December, yet Nurmagomedov has said he will never fight there again after the UFC 229 suspension.
If he does indeed fight in Russia it would be a massive event for the country. But, whether or not the UFC will host a pay-per-view (PPV) in Russia is another question mark.
Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov’s next fight will be in Russia?