Conor McGregor is ready to seize 2020 by the horns. First of all, he destroyed Donald Cerrone on his comeback. Now he wants to enhance his legacy by beating Khabib Nurmagamedov in a rematch. However, he may need to take one more fight before this happens.
Khabib is set to fight Tony Ferguson in April. It’s a very tough match-up that’s eagerly anticipated by the MMA world. If he gets past Ferguson then the UFC will push for this clash. However, ‘The Eagle’ and his team are not planning on making it easy for McGregor or their promotion.
Ali Abdelaziz, the Russian’s manager, says the fight is not going to happen. We obviously don’t believe him, but he spoke emphatically about it to ESPN.
According to Abdelaziz, this fight will only happen if McGregor does something insane. Destroying Cerrone was a step in the right direction. But the manager doesn’t think it’s enough right now. He also went on and insulted the Irishman because that’s what he does.
“The only chance this fight could happen is in the street,” Abdelaziz to ESPN. “McGregor would have to do something spectacular. He’s s—, you understand? Conor McGregor is one of the biggest stars because he’s one of the biggest scumbags.”
There’s definitely no love lost between McGregor and Khabib’s camps. For all of his flaws – and there are many – Abdelaziz is a very powerful manager. If this fight does happen, they’ll get a good deal out of the UFC.
McGregor needs to really earn this rematch. At least that’s what Abdelaziz thinks. He would love nothing more than for the Irishman to fight another of his clients, Justin Gaethje. However, ‘The Notorious’ would prefer to bypass that match-up for someone more lucrative like Nate Diaz.
“Conor needs to earn things,” Abdelaziz said. “He was a champion. He needs to earn things. Khabib really, really wants to make him earn it. It doesn’t matter, because what he says. We have a really, really tough fight. Everybody forgets about Tony, dismissing him. Khabib has been training for three months straight, and he has two more months.”
That’s a very good point. Tony Ferguson might just be the best lightweight in the world right now. We’ll find out in April if he is or not. It would be typical of ‘El Cucuy’ to put a curveball on the UFC’s plans.
Finally, Abdelaziz made it clear that it’s not all about the money. Allegedly Saudi Arabia offered the UFC $100 million to host the rematch there. Khabib is a massive star in the Islamic world so that would actually make sense. But the UFC has very close relations with the UAE. Furthermore, Khabib is a man of principle and is already very rich. It will be very difficult to buy him.
“Listen, there’s a lot of money for Khabib if Khabib fights Conor,” Abdelaziz said. “… But everything is not about money. Especially with Khabib.”
Everybody has a price.