Manager lays out plan for Conor McGregor to earn title shot
If Conor McGregor wants a new shot at the lightweight title, it seems he’s going to have to listen to controversial manager Ali Abdelaziz. – Manager to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The two sides have been at odds for a long time, with more than just divisional rivalry between McGregor and Khabib as an instigating factor. Violence has spilled out outside of the cage between both camps, as both have the same goal of becoming UFC lightweight champion.
McGregor announced his retirement recently, a comment that was received with more apprehension than anything. Most don’t expect McGregor’s latest retirement to be permanent, including Abdelaziz. In fact, the Nurmagomedov manager laid out a potential path towards the title for McGregor.
“Justin said no (to McGregor). Khabib told me to go tell Justin to fight Conor. Justin said no. Listen, we dictate this. Conor right now he can be a backup fighter. He can go make weight and maybe make some money, but at the end of the day, that’s the two champions. He’s not even No. 3, he’s No. 4 or No. 5. Conor can go fight Nate (Diaz) or (Jorge) Masvidal. We’re not interested in fighting him. He needs to get some wins and he needs to fight some good opponents. I said, the only way he can fight Khabib is if he fights Islam Makhachev, then he can fight Khabib,” Abdelaziz said.
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Sadly, Nurmagomedov’s father passed away earlier this month. This has caused many to question if and when Nurmagomedov will return to the UFC. According to Abdelaziz, the lightweight champion will return, this year even, and is expected to unify his title with interim champ Justin Gaethje.
“Khabib has some goals to accomplish. You will see him before the end of the year. Now him and Dana are talking and I’m talking to the matchmakers and we’re trying to set up a date. I’m sure Dana will let the fans know when Khabib will fight. We have a blockbuster main event between him and Justin Gaethje. Two of the best lightweights today of the recent era. We’ve seen what Khabib does to all his opponents. We’ve seen what Justin Gaethje has done to his last four opponents. He dismantled Ton Ferguson. He made him look like an absolute amateur. And that’s the best two guys in the world and they’re going to fight,” Abdelaziz said.