Ali Abdelaziz is like marmite because you will either love him or hate him. However, he is one of the most successful managers in the sport of MMA today. Furthermore, he is notorious for taking over his fighters’ social media. He represents champions like Kamaru Usman, Khabib Nurmagamedov, and also the likes of Justin Gaethje, Frankie Edgar, and Henry Cejudo.
In sum, that’s quite the stable of fighters. But he is able to make it personal when he wants to. He likes to target Conor McGregor because of the Irishman’s rivalry with Khabib. Stirring the pot gets people talking about his fighters. However, not everybody likes it.
Now Abdelaziz has gone after McGregor again because he doesn’t want him to replace Khabib against Justin Gaethje. The latter pair are supposed to fight in a lightweight unification clash. But the recent passing of Khabib’s father obviously has confused things. Now Abdelaziz has spoken out.
First of all, Abdelaziz explained that they will dictate who they fight, not Conor McGregor. Furthermore, he tried to say that McGregor will have to fight Islam Makhachev before a potential clash with Khabib. But we all know that this isn’t going to happen. If McGregor wants the fight, he’ll get it. Abdelaziz said:
“Justin said no. Khabib told me to go tell Justin to fight Conor. Justin said no. Listen, we dictate this. Conor right now he can be a backup fighter. He can go make weight and maybe make some money, but at the end of the day, that’s the two champions.
He’s not even No. 3, he’s No. 4 or No. 5. Conor can go fight Nate (Diaz) or (Jorge) Masvidal. We’re not interested in fighting him. He needs to get some wins and he needs to fight some good opponents. I said, the only way he can fight Khabib is if he fights Islam Makhachev, then he can fight Khabib.”
Abdelaziz says that first of all, Khabib wants to achieve his goals. In short, that’s why they are determined to make this fight between him and Gaethje. To sum up, we’re certain that it’s nothing to do with the fact that Abdelaziz represents them both. He said:
“Khabib has some goals to accomplish. You will see him before the end of the year. Now him and Dana are talking and I’m talking to the matchmakers and we’re trying to set up a date. I’m sure Dana will let the fans know when Khabib will fight. We have a blockbuster main event between him and Justin Gaethje.
Two of the best lightweights today of the recent era. We’ve seen what Khabib does to all his opponents. We’ve seen what Justin Gaethje has done to his last four opponents. He dismantled Tony Ferguson. He made him look like an absolute amateur. And that’s the best two guys in the world and they’re going to fight.”
Meanwhile, Kamaru Usman says that there is no point in talking about a welterweight title clash. He said this because McGregor has stayed silent regarding the potential clash. In sum, the Irishman appears to regard it as too tough of a match-up. Usman explained to TMZ Sports:
“That’s a lost conversation. That’s a lost cause. We both know Conor gets up to the welterweight division if he’s able to pick and chose lightweights with double-digit losses that he can pick off and not have to cut weight to get down to lightweight. That’s the only time. If Conor wants a piece at welterweight, he knows who the king of the division is. I’m not going anywhere. I’m right here.”
“I offered him a shot. I said, ‘Hey, if you want it, it’s yours, you got it,’ and he was silent. Days later Anderson Silva says, ‘Hey, let’s do it and he responded and said yeah.’ So it’s clear right there to know if Conor is willing to step up and take a fight like this or not but I think he’s a wise guy so I think he should stay retired.”