Khabib Nurmagomedov recently returned to action after a year off, demolishing Edson Barboza at UFC 219 and re-inserting himself into the lightweight title picture currently muddied by Conor McGregors mercurial ways. After his win, Nurmagomedov said he wanted to fight three times in 2018, and even suggested he would fight McGregor and interim champion Tony Ferguson on the same night if the UFC would let him. That isnt likely to happen, but if McGregor does finally decide to defend his title, Nurmagomedov has another plan already lined up: a fight with former lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez.
Nurmagomedovs father and trainer, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, recently spoke with MatchTV.ru, saying that if Khabib wouldnt be fighting McGregor or Ferguson next, a bout with Alvarez makes sense.
I think that Conor, Diaz, and Ferguson, instead of fighting with Khabib, will be better off against each other 30 times, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov said. . . If Conor and Ferguson fight among themselves, give us Alvarez. He said that he was preparing Barboza for Khabib. Well, lets see, let him go himself now.
Alvarez is a training partner of Edson Barboza and coming off of a a Fight of the Year contender win over Justin Gaethje. Ranked second and third in the division respectively, a fight between Nurmagomedov and Alvarez would make sense if both McGregor and Ferguson are otherwise occupied. It also might allow Nurmagomedov to get back into action before Ramadan starts, a key point for him as the holy month will keep him out of action during a portion of the summer, says his father.
If in the first third of Ramadan, then this is normal: Khabib will not begin to weaken, said Abdulmanap. In fact, eight days before the fight, when he makes weight, he already eats little and eats less than in Ramadan after sunset. Until May 22, we are ready to take the fight.
But what if McGregor, Ferguson, and Alvarez are all not interested in a fight early this year? After his very successful weight-cut for UFC 219, Nurmagomedov said that he could make the drop down to 145 pounds with his new regimen. Would a move down to featherweight to take on someone like Max Holloway or Jose Aldo interest Nurmagomedov? No, says his father.
As for the 66kg [145 pounds], we were never interested in fighters in that weight, said Abdulmanap. Neither Holloway nor Aldo. If people in the 70 kg division [155 pounds] cannot get out from under Khabib, do you think that someone in 66 kg can do it? Holloway is small.
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After the MMA Beat.