UFC Rumors: Four MMA Fighters Khabib Nurmagomedov Could Face For His First Title Defense

Who's next for Khabib Nurmagomedov?

Khabib Nurmagomedov's next opponent
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Who's next for Khabib Nurmagomedov?

In the past few months, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has continuously campaigned for a title fight against former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor. Since UFC 205, “The Eagle” has been patiently waiting to face “The Notorious” in the Octagon, but during his reign, McGregor showed no interest in fighting Nurmagomedov, mainly because of his history of pulling out from fights.

However, now that Khabib Nurmagomedov is the new king of the lightweight division, Conor McGregor has no choice but to fight him if he wants to reclaim the title. Nurmagomedov revealed that there is already an ongoing negotiation between him, McGregor’s camp, and the UFC regarding the potential fight. However, UFC President Dana White denied Nurmagomedov’s claim and said that McGregor’s return will depend upon the result of his trial in Brooklyn.

“No, we’re not (in talks with Conor McGregor),” White told Yahoo Sports‘ Kevin Iole. “But we have been talking. We’ve been talking since before the incident happened. It’s funny because that’s one of the things I said too. I said, ‘Listen, after Conor makes this money with Floyd, he may never fight again.’ And he hasn’t. He hasn’t fought since that fight. I know he wants to. I know Conor is anxious to fight. And, you know, we’ve got to get through this thing in July. But no, no talks are going on right now.”

Still, Khabib Nurmagomedov is hoping that the UFC could book a fight between him and Conor McGregor in October. However, that doesn’t mean that Nurmagomedov is closing the door on other MMA fighters who want to challenge him for the lightweight belt. In a video he posted on his Instagram account, “The Eagle” was seen pummelling a dummy with a caption: “UFC bring this guy, or give me the next one in line, lightweight division have to move. I’m ready.”

If McGregor isn’t available, the undefeated mixed martial artist expressed interest in fighting former UFC middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre, or the winner of the upcoming lightweight fight between Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier, reports Daily Express. Another opponent in Nurmagomedov’s mind is UFC lightweight contender Tony Ferguson.

When Conor McGregor was stripped of the lightweight belt, Nurmagomedov and Ferguson were scheduled to face each other at UFC 223 for the vacant title. Unfortunately, “El Cucuy” pulled out from the fight after suffering an injury. Nurmagomedov said he has no update about Ferguson, but he is willing to give him the chance to challenge him if he’s ready to fight again.