Plenty of folks in the MMA world, including Dana White, have said they want to see Tony Ferguson fight Khabib Nurmagomedov next. But, according to the manager of the UFC’s lightweight champ, there’s no way that’s happening…
Ever since Khabib submitted Conor McGregor in October, there’s been extensive discussion and debate as to who he’ll fight next. Since Ferguson has won 11 in a row, and because he was the interim champ until not long ago, many have called for “El Cucuy” to be next for Khabib.
But, recently Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz spoke with MMA Fighting and he had this to say about his client’s next fight.
“The biggest money fight he can make. At the end of the day, Khabib doesn’t need to fight anybody else for his legacy. He’s done what he’s done. He’s 27-0, he’s 12-0 in the UFC, he’s never been dropped, he’s never been caught, he’s never been knocked down. Let’s talk about a GOAT. No PEDs. We talk about the greatest of all-time, I think that he should be on top of the list, because he never lost to anybody. He’s never lost, he’s never been dropped, he’s never been stitched, nothing.
“So [we want] the biggest money fight he can make. Boxing, MMA, whatever. I love Tony Ferguson — he’s not that, I can tell you that. One-hundred percent, Tony Ferguson is not the next fight, because Tony Ferguson — I need somebody who can sell pay-per-views. At the end of the day, it will be the exact same situation. Khabib was supposed to fight Eddie Alvarez, remember that? When he got taken out [in place of Conor McGregor], we understood it because Conor’s going to bring pay-per-views. We need people who can help us sell pay-per-views, and that’s it.”
Now does this mean Ferguson is out for sure? No. This could be a negotiating tactic by Abdelaziz to have the UFC raise Khabib’s guaranteed purse, if he were to agree to fight Ferguson. After all, Khabib himself has said that Ferguson and Dustin Poirier are most deserving of a title shot, and he hasn’t expressed any interest in fighting McGregor again (although his father suggested a boxing match).
Nurmagomedov has said he wants to fight Georges St-Pierre, but it’s hard to imagine the UFC signing off on that. It’s also hard to imagine the UFC allowing Khabib to box Floyd Mayweather Jr., as he’s also said he wants to do.
We’ll likely learn more about a timeline for Khabib’s next bout this month, as he’s expected to appear in front of the Nevada Commission, in connection to the post-fight brawl at UFC 229.