For the past week, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, has spoken publicly about being reluctant to allow lightweight title contender, Tony Ferguson a shot at Khabib’s gold next.
However, it appears there may be some cross of opinion between Abdelaziz and Khabib. As per the Team Dagestan Twitter account, when Khabib was questioned by a slightly disappointed fan, he seems to suggest the breakdown in the match up with Ferguson was a choice Abdelaziz rather than his own:
Although brief, the Tweet seems to suggest that Khabib may not be 100% happy with the decision to avoid the fight with “El Cucuy” and was more so a choice of Abdelaziz.
In the lead up to UFC 229, the UFC’s lightweight division had regained hope in respect to potential fights after a previous year of injuries and hiatus’. With the unfortunate turn of events post-fight after Khabib’s win and the subsequent pending trial with the NSAC, the wheels have again grinded to a halt in the 155lb division.
Now, discussions about who fights next after the trial and who deserves it more are aplenty in the MMA community. This development from Khabib adds further ambiguity in matchmaking at the top of the division.
The official Team Dagestan Twitter page has tweeted an announcement about a work-in-progress fight between their own Khabib Nurmamogedov and the former welterweight and middleweight champion, Georges St-Pierre.
This appears to be the “big news” that MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz referred to in his tweet yesterday.
News about huge fights, however small, were announced first by Team Dagestan in the past, the last being the fight between Artem Lobov vs Zubaira Tukhugov, although the match was called of in light of the brawl at UFC 229, and had to be changed.
If negotiations go through and the fight is confirmed, the 155-pound Dagestani champion will defend his belt for the second time. However, pending punishment from the NSAC for the UFC 229 brawl, the fight will likely not happen this year.
On the other side of this story, GSP has been vocal about his interest in fighters long after his win over Michael Bisping, eying the winner of the UFC 229 main-event fight between Khabib and McGregor. Whether he was fighting again in the welterweight or the lightweight division was still a mystery. However, the recent tweet from team Dagestan may clarify St. Pierre’s intentions.
BackBin July, he was offered by the UFC to fight against Nate Diaz, but the Canadian was not interested, as he saw this as a money opportunity, and was instead seeking legacy fights.
As this news develops, we shall he if a legacy fight comes to fruition.