Conor McGregor is submitted by Khabib Nurmagamedov. Screenshot: Instagram.

Khabib Nurmagamedov will defend his lightweight title very soon against the interim champion Justin Gaethje. If he is successful, then attention will quickly turn to his next opponent. In sum, this could be his final professional fight because he says that he wants to retire with a 30-0 undefeated record.

This will be very difficult and is unprecedented in MMA. However, if he does, then Conor McGregor will expect his name to be in the discussion. The Irishman lost against Khabib back in 2018 but wants the chance for revenge. His most recent fight was a welterweight clash against fellow regular 155 lb star Donald Cerrone.

However, Khabib has a warning for McGregor. In short, he says that if the Irishman doesn’t make the lightweight limit in his next fight then he can kiss his chances of a rematch goodbye. To sum up, he believes that you should in the same division to earn a title shot. He believes that the Irishman is effectively cheating by moving up a weight class.

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Title Fight

Khabib admitted that a title fight against McGregor makes sense if the Irishman can beat Dustin Poirier in another rematch. But he says that the pair must make 155 to earn the shot. Otherwise, he doesn’t believe it is fair. Furthermore, Khabib says he will refuse to fight him again if he doesn’t compete as an official lightweight first. He also accused the Irishman of wanting to make things easy.

“If he beat him in 155 it makes sense, but if he beat him in 170? How can you fight in 170 and then in next fight in 155,” Khabib told Mike Swick. “They wanna make everything easy, if you wanna take easy way, you will never deserve next title shot. Before I fight with him I told him, ‘I’m gonna make you humble, and I’m gonna put you online.’ So if he fight 170, bye bye.”

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Smart Move

Not everybody agrees with Khabib. Former Bellator champion Michael Chandler recently signed with the UFC and is an alternate for the Khabib v Gaethje title fight. The American believes that McGregor is doing nothing wrong by fighting at welterweight. In sum, he believes it’s up to the UFC to say no and not the fighter. If the promotion accepts it, then why shouldn’t McGregor take advantage? Furthermore, it’s not like he’s fighting a real welterweight.

“For me, I show up at the weight they want me to fight. If the UFC is not willing to let catch-weights happen and says if you fight at 170 you’re not getting the title shot [at 155], then I’m fighting at 155,” Chandler said.

“The way I look at it, if I’m fighting Tony Ferguson and we’re both 155-pounders and this is the fourth time I’ve made weight in 12 months, why don’t we fight at 170 and not cut that water weight — I’m still fighting a lightweight at 170.”

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Finally, Chandler signaled his admiration for McGregor’s hustle. He says that the Notorious is a marketing genius but has never properly fought at welterweight because he has never fought a proper welterweight. It’s really that simple. To be fair, he has a point. However, Chandler says that this is something that he personally wouldn’t do.

” A lot of stuff he does is genius, marketing … smoke and mirrors fighting 155-pounders at 170. He essentially just didn’t cut weight for a 155 fight. My body says I’d love to fight a lightweight at 170 but if there are title implications on the line you best believe I’m coming in at 154 just to secure that title shot.”

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