Reigning UFC lightweight king Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov has further intensified rumours surrounding a possible meeting with Conor McGregor this morning. The undefeated Combat Sambo specialist promised to knock the Irishmoan out at their speculated October clash.
News filtered though last week of a targeted UFC 229 main event spot, containing Khabib and McGregor by “MMA Team Dagestan”. SBG Ireland striking coach Owen Roddy also hinted that a fight between the fierce rivals “is brewing up nicely”. This comes after Khabib’s father claimed that “it is undesirable to say [anything] about this now, but negotiations are nearing completion” when pushed on the possibility of his son facing Dublin born McGregor.
Recently speaking with Sport24.ru, Nurmagomedov speculated on an October title defence against Conor:
“In what round will I be able to knock McGregor out in, I do not know and nobody can know this. I am going to destroy him.”
McGregor is of course still awaiting a second hearing in July after his involvement in the bus attack leading up to UFC 223. But, last Monday, he was scheduled to meet with promotion president Dana White to discuss his current situation and his potential future in the organisation.
McGregor is facing a lengthy list of fines and lawsuits but competition suspension and jail time are most certainly unlikely. Interestingly, the UFC have confirmed they will deal with Conor internally after all legal proceedings.
Khabib, a practicing Muslim, recently completed the fasting period of Ramadan and has signalled toward a late September or early October title defence:
“I do not yet know who my opponent will be. The fight will likely take place in Las Vegas. I want to fight McGregor; the fans are also waiting for this fight. I hope that Conor wants this fight. He talked a lot but for some reason, when it came down to real negotiations about the fight, he fell silent.”
Khabib picked up the 155lbs crown at UFC 223 after multiple opponent changes, eventually overcoming Al Iaquinta in the event headliner. McGregor will end a 24 month hiatus from the Octagon if he returns in October, with his last MMA appearance coming in November 2016 in arguably his most dominant display. He stopped Eddie Alvarez in the second round to become the premier multiple-weight champion. McGregor earned a considerable payday just last August, enticing the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr out of retirement into his first professional boxing match.