UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov became one of the most talked about personalities in the world of fighting sports after beating former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor at UFC 229. Aside from McGregor, who demanded an immediate rematch, Nurmagomedov is currently being targeted by big fighters, including undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. has recently expressed his willingness to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov in the boxing ring. Mayweather believes that a superfight with Nurmagomedov will give him a better payday than his previous faceoff with Conor McGregor. However, in a recent interview with ESPN, courtesy of MMAjunkie, UFC President Dana White shut down the rumors about the potential fight between Mayweather and Nurmagomedov, saying that they haven’t talked with anybody from Mayweather’s side.
“First of all, the Mayweather team has not approached us at all,” White said. “Again, Khabib is under contract with the UFC. We haven’t talked to anybody from the Mayweather team.”
If there’s a fight that makes the most sense for Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dana White believes it will not be against Conor McGregor or Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Right now, White thinks the most deserving opponent for Nurmagomedov is UFC lightweight No. 1 contender Tony Ferguson.
“As a fight fan, you’ve gotta go with Tony,” White said. “Tony had the belt, tweaked his knee, got stripped, (McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov) happens. Tony never lost the belt in a fight. Neither did Conor, but Conor actually got the opportunity to fight for the belt. I think Tony deserves the next shot.”
Dana White: Ignore Mayweather, Tony Ferguson deserves Khabib Nurmagomedov fight next https://t.co/3Gsg3FjVVX
— MMAjunkie (@MMAjunkie) October 19, 2018
Tony Ferguson puts himself in a strong position to become Nurmagomedov’s next challenger after defeating former UFC champion Anthony Pettis via TKO at UFC 229. Ferguson is currently on an 11-fight winning streak, and there is no doubt that he deserves to fight for the UFC lightweight belt. If Dana White makes it official, this will be the fifth time that the UFC will book a fight between Ferguson and Nurmagomedov.
In the four times that the UFC scheduled the bout between the two best UFC lightweight fighters, either one of them pulled out from the fight because of health issues. Ferguson was supposed to face Nurmagomedov at UFC 223, but he was forced to withdraw from the fight after suffering an injury. With his inability to fight, the UFC decided to strip him of the interim UFC lightweight title.
As of now, the UFC hasn’t made any official announcement regarding Khabib Nurmagomedov’s next title defense. However, most mixed martial arts fans will surely love to see Nurmagomedov fight a strong contender like Tony Ferguson next in the Octagon.