We Finally Have Confirmation of What We All Really Knew… The UFC is Working on Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagamedov…
We’re going to have to start off this article with an apology to Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz. You guys are no longer the most exciting potential fight in the near future of MMA. Just kidding. They never were. However, we finally have some good news: Khabib Nurmagamedov vs Conor McGregor is in the works.
It has been confirmed by the ‘Eagle’ himself, who offered an update to Live Raise. The Russian lightweight champion has built a toxic rivalry with McGregor, which only escalated when he surrounded and intimidated Artem Lobov, with his team in a Brooklyn hotel.
Of course, we all know what happened next. McGregor saw the attempt to intimidate Lobov as an affront to his honor. So he did what everybody would naturally do in this dreadful scenario. He flew over a posse of 20 Irishmen and attacked the media bus carrying the Dagestani fighter at the Barclay Center.
If this fight goes ahead, it could well be the biggest in the history of MMA. No fighter has ever mobilized opinions like Conor McGregor. He became the first MMA fighter to enter the top five of the Forbes Rich List for athletes this year. Basically, ‘The Notorious’ is the most marketable active fighter on the planet. (Floyd Mayweather doesn’t count. He’s retired.)
Can you imagine the promotion in the run-up to this one? It will be on a precedent that we’ve never seen before. That obviously means one of the two of them will get injured, but hey, it would be incredible just to see the press conferences. Khabib confirmed that the negotiations are underway. He said:
Very soon, I’m going to come to the USA to begin my training camp. When the UFC give me fight, I’m going to come to California and I’m going to stay there in AKA with my family nine weeks before fight. I’m going to defend my Inshallah this year. This year, I want to defend my title. About opponents, I don’t know, to be honest. I don’t know. But the UFC is working on fight, me versus Conor.”
That’s the closest either fighter has come to directly saying that the fight looks likely. Khabib’s team have played coy throughout this whole situation, with his manager Ali Abdelaziz vocally telling McGregor to get in line. The current lightweight champion needs this win though.
He has an immaculate 26-0 record – unheard of in MMA – but needs to defeat one of the elite to confirm his validity as a champion, as beating Al Iaquinta isn’t exactly doing that. Now that Ramadan is over, the ‘Eagle’ will be able to devote his time to training and getting fight ready.
Of course, there’s one massive elephant in the room. Conor McGregor has another court appearance in New York, on July 26. He has entered a plea agreement that would see him working with inner-city children, alongside his fellow SBG fighter Cian Cowley. Assuming this goes through, then Conor vs Khabib will be free to proceed.
“If they give me Conor, I’m going to fight,” Khabib said. “If they give me different opponents; ‘GSP’ or the winner of Alvarez vs. Poirier. It doesn’t matter, let’s go.”
That’s the right attitude. Let’s hope it does happen. It’s definitely the UFC’s priority right now, and while they’ll have a contingency plan in place if McGregor gets locked away for life, it seems like UFC 219 in Las Vegas is what they’re aiming for. That’s only four months away. And look. McGregor is in training.