Friday 28 July 2017

Conor McGregor targeting undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov after Floyd Mayweather fight

Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia looks on against Michael Johnson of the United States in their lightweight bout during the UFC 205 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia looks on against Michael Johnson of the United States in their lightweight bout during the UFC 205 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Jack O'Toole

UFC Lightweight champion Conor McGregor has said that he wants to fight undefeated Russian fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov when he makes his return to the UFC after his professional boxing debut with Floyd Mayweather Jr. later this summer.

McGregor will take on Mayweather Jr. in what is being billed as the most financially lucrative fight of all time, however, after the fight McGregor has said that he wants to defend his lightweight title against Nurmagomedov in his native Russia.

UFC President Dana White, who is also acting as a promoter for the Mayweather-McGregor fight, said that McGregor had told him that he wants Nurmagomedov for his next fight.

“You know what Conor told me?" White told MMA Junkie on Wednesday.

‘I want Khabib in Russia'. Isn’t he f***ing awesome? He’s like, ‘I want Khabib, in Russia.’ Yeah. Conor McGregor is a f***ing unicorn.

"There’s nothing like him. He’s working on boxing Floyd Mayweather and then he’s talking about Khabib in Russia right after.

"Those are the kinds of things that make that kid a f***ing superstar.

"I got guys telling me that 'I don't want to fight this guy, and I don't want to do this'... I want Floyd Mayweather and I want Khabib in Russia... How do you not love him? How do you not love Conor McGregor."

The UFC has never held an event in Russia during its near 24-year history, however, White and new owner of the UFC Ari Emanuel sat down with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko last year to discuss plans for a future UFC show in Moscow.

White also added that Nurmagomedov must fight #1 Lightweight contender Tony Ferguson first before he can earn a title shot at McGregor.

Ferguson and Nurmagomedov were supposed to fight each other at UFC 209 in Las Vegas, however, Nurmagomedov was forced to withdraw from the fight with medical issues related to his weight cut.

White would not confirm a timeline for their rescheduled fight but did add that their cancellation in March has fit in nicely with McGregor's extended absence from MMA.

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