It seems that there is becoming a backlash within the UFC lightweight division.
As seen over the last few months, there have been several fighters who compete in the weight class call for the UFC to strip lightweight champion Conor McGregor his title belt due to his inactivity.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is no different as he plans to recover from a difficult 2017 with a title in 2018.
Keep in mind that Nurmagomedov still has a tough task in front of him in order to get to a title shot and that task is getting past Edson Barboza at UFC 219. Nurmagomedov recently told the media that he’ll fight for the UFC belt early next year.
In order for that to happen, the promotion must strip McGregor of the title then put interim champ Tony Ferguson as the active lightweight champion then boom we have a fight for the real title.
“I think they have to take the belt from Conor and make him humble,” Nurmagomedov (24-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) told MMAjunkie in advance of his pay-per-view co-headliner at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“And that’s it – everything gets finished. Next fight, next year, in March or April, I’m going to fight for the title. This is the plan.”
“Weight, weight, weight,” he said today. “I have an opponent. Weight is not my opponent. Of course, it’s my opponent. But not like Edson Barboza. Edson is a much harder opponent than my weight.
“Sometimes, people need to talk. Fans need to talk. It’s OK. I’m OK about this. Mind you, I have to make weight. I have 20 hours. I feel great. Make weight, and that’s it. Saturday night I have to smash somebody.”
UFC President Dana White has gone on record by stating that he disagrees with those who think that the promotion should strip McGregor of the title are “haters.”
“There’s some (expletive) exaggeration in saying the guy’s never defended a title,” White said.