Nurmagomedov Planning To Win ‘Real’ UFC Title And Tell McGregor ‘To Get In Line’
Khabib Nurmagomedov wasn’t the happiest man backstage after the UFC 223 press conference in Boston yesterday.
According to a number of reporters who behind the scenes, Nurmagomedov made himself very vocal that he won’t be fighting for Tony Ferguson’s “fake belt” at UFC 223 and that he would be fighting only for the “real” UFC lightweight title.
The Russian later went on to speak to Aaron Bronsteter of TSN Sports Canada and clarified his position.
“He [(Tony Ferguson) is still interim champion, but when we fight, we’re going to fight for the real belt,” Nurmagomedov said. “This is what is going to happen you know.
“He was showing off his belt, but this one is fake belt, you know, interim belt. I’m going to fight for the real belt. I don’t need a fake belt.”
Dana White failed to provide any clarity as to whether McGregor had been stripped of the title, but in Nurmagomedov’s mind, only one thing will happen with the unified 155-pounds strap before UFC 223 in April.
“They strip his belt, his lightweight belt and his featherweight belt,” Nurmagomedov said. “We’re going to fight for the real belt and that’s it.
“I don’t understand why media people keep talking about ‘Hey are you going to strip him or not?’ Of course UFC will strip him.”
Many are already jumping to the conclusion that if Nurmagomedov is victorious against Ferguson, the Russian will go on to fight McGregor later in the year at the UFC’s first ever show in Russia. That, however, isn’t Nurmagomedov’s plan and he says he will tell McGregor that he has to earn his way back to a title shot.
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“Now he has to deserve title shot,” Nurmagomedov said. “My plan is beat Tony Ferguson and [if] UFC try to put McGregor next on the line, no, he will have to deserve this. I’m going to tell him ‘Hey get in line.’ This is my plan.”