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Khabib Nurmagamedov will defend his title for the third time. Fingers crossed, he’s finally going to fight Tony Ferguson next year. The fight has been booked for the fifth time after both men cancelled twice. Don’t get excited until you see them both in the octagon.

Meanwhile, Conor McGregor is also coming back. The Irishman has been out of action since losing to Khabib last year. He will fight Donald Cerrone in February. It’s an exciting match-up but it means that Justin Gaethje is being left out in the cold. Now there is even worse news for ‘The Highlight.’

UFC President Dana White wants to make a Khabib v McGregor rematch. That’s assuming both men win their upcoming fights. Needless to say, Gaetjhe is furious.

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White is currently in Las Vegas where UFC 245 will go down this weekend. Max Holloway will fight Alexander Volkanovski in the main event. He confirmed that he would be happy to put McGregor and Khabib together again if they both win their fights. He said:

“If Conor can get through “Cowboy” and Khabib can get through Tony, then we’d be looking at a rematch with Conor and Khabib down the line here pretty soon. Conor was interested in Masvidal, too, but I think he wants Khabib first at 155.”

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Waiting Game

Justin Gaethje finds himself in the same position as Francis Ngannou. Both men have justifiable claims for title shots but find themselves on the outside looking in. If McGregor wants a lightweight title shot he should beat ‘The Highlight.’ In short, fighting Cerrone at welterweight shouldn’t be enough. Gaethje tweeted:

“Lol at Dana White. If Conor gets through Cowboy”… what a crock of sh-t.“

Later he spoke to MMA Junkie and made his feelings very clear. He wants that title fight.

“I think I’m the next guy in line,” Gaethje said. “The title fight is set, and somebody needs to fight the winner of that fight. So that’s me. I got in this sport for one reason, and that was to fight for a world title.”

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Khabib’s father Abdulmanap thinks that his son’s fight against Ferguson is the biggest in the history of the sport. Now that’s entirely subjective but it is definitely significant. All of the previous cancellations have driven up the demand for it to happen. But that appeal is predominantly within the MMA world.

“Because this isn’t the first attempt, I think it is one of the most important events in this sport,” Abdulmanap told RT Sport recently. “Millions of fans are waiting for it. There’s never been anything like this in UFC history. It’s the most important fight in UFC history. It is important not only for me but for my republic, my country, and all our supporters.”

The cogs are beginning to turn in the lightweight division. If Ferguson beats Khabib then that throws a massive curveball into the works. Actually that would make things a lot clearer. A Khabib v McGregor fight would then make perfect sense. Gaethje could then take on ‘El Cucuy’ for the title. But those are a lot of ‘ifs’ and MMA math never works out. You’ve got to love this sport and all it throws up.

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