Khabib Nurmagamedov Wants Conor McGregor Fight, but Will Not Wait Forever… 

It’s amazing how the prospect of a few million dollars can change your mind. Until recently Khabib Nurmagamedov was refusing to even think about fighting Conor McGregor. He had even said that after being stripped of his belt, the Irishman would have to work his way back up into contention.

However, this is Conor McGregor we’re talking about. Like it or not, what the ‘Notorious’ wants, the ‘Notorious’ gets. Unless he winds up in a jail cell. Basically, Nurmagamedov underestimated the drawing power of the Irishman and – surprise, surprise – now he wants this fight.

There is one stipulation though. If it doesn’t happen this year, the world’s scariest Russian, apart from Vladimir Putin, will not wait. He’s got other targets to consider, including Tony Ferguson and even Dustin Poirier. The pressure is on McGregor to act before he loses the respect of the fans whose crazy support made him the fighter he is today.

Conor McGregor celebrates after knocking Eddie Alvarez out for the UFC lightweight title at UFC 205. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai, USA TODAY Sports.

Waiting Game

In an interview in his native Russia, Khabib insisted that he will not wait for McGregor to sign on the dotted line. He wants the fight but won’t let the division be put on hold again. He told media:

“If he wants to fight this year, then we can fight. Otherwise, I don’t know. We won’t wait long. I want to fight Conor and if he can fight, I will fight him.”

McGregor is currently in training and is expected to make his return at some point in 2018. Representatives from both teams are currently in negotiations. McGregor’s well-documented legal problems could possibly be a barrier. That being said the likelihood of mounting legal costs might entice McGregor back into the octagon as soon as possible.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

Tony Time

Nurmagamedov also addressed the possibility of a fifth booking against Tony Ferguson. He was meant to fight ‘El Cucuy’ for the lightweight title at UFC 223. However, Ferguson tore his LCL and was forced to withdraw. He’ll be out for at least the next six months. Khabib seems open to the fight but is refusing to look at Eddie Alvarez as an option.

“There is Tony Ferguson, but I don’t think he is going to fight soon,” Nurmagomedov said. “Then there is Alvarez. He wants to fight, but there’s something missing. He may or may not know this, but I’ll tell him to go take a hike.”

Apparently, Nurmagamedov doesn’t rate ‘The Underground King.’ Alvarez may have to face Dustin Poirier for the second time to stake his claim as the undisputed number one contender if neither Ferguson nor McGregor is available.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.


There is no doubt that the UFC has massive plans for Nurmagamedov. They see him as their gateway into Russia, a vast country where combat sports are massive. ‘The Eagle’ is already a superstar in his native Dagestan. Exciting times are ahead for the champion.

It will be fascinating if he can overcome the cultural barriers and become a mainstream star in the US as well. Beating McGregor would catapult his name into lights like never before. It would also be an incredible clash of styles. Negotiations continue…

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