Khabib Nurmagomedov Says That Conor McGregor Should Be Stripped Of His UFC Title
UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov will return to the UFC Octagon for the first time in over a year on Dec. 30 when he takes on Edson Barboza at UFC 219.
The Russian hasn’t fought since defeating Michael Johnson at UFC 205 on the same night that Conor McGregor beat Eddie Alvarez for the UFC lightweight title. Nurmagomedov thinks it’s unacceptable that McGregor hasn’t yet defended his 155-pounds title and that the UFC should’ve taken action already.
“If [McGregor] doesn’t have injuries, and he doesn’t defend his belt for more than a year, then it’s very bad,” Nurmagomedov told Hype (h/t RT Sport).
Nurmagomedov then went on to explain that he doesn’t think McGregor should be considered the champion and that the current interim champion, Tony Ferguson, should be considered the rightful holder of the unified UFC lightweight belt.
“When you are the champion and you don’t have an injury, you have to defend it,” Nurmagomedov said. “I really liked how Georges St-Pierre acted in a similar situation. Once he understood that he won’t be able to fight, he didn’t hold his division. That’s the decision of a real champion.
“Conor doesn’t defend his belt. I don’t even know when he is going to do that. He has the name. It’s profitable for the UFC that he is the champion. They make money because of him and they won’t strip him off the belt. But in my opinion, Conor had to be stripped of his belt a long time ago and Tony Ferguson should be the real champion.”
It’s now all eyes on 219 to see if Nurmagomedov can get himself back in the mix of a title shot with a win over Barboza.