It’s safe to assume that Khbaib Nurmagomedov will earn himself a title opportunity some day, but the interim tag may need to be left out.
Nurmagomedov is coming off a dominating unanimous decision victory over Edson Barboza. The bout served as UFC 219’s co-main event. It was “The Eagle’s” first bout since Nov. 2016.
Many believe that with Conor McGregor‘s inactivity that interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson will have to defend his gold against Nurmagomedov. That doesn’t sit well with Ali Abdelaziz, who represents Nurmagomedov (via MMAFighting.com):
“Khabib’s next fight, we’re not fighting for no damn interim belt. We want the real belt, or we don’t want nothing. We appreciate everything the UFC has done for us, but it’s time for a real belt. Nobody is interested in fighting for a fake belt. Tony Ferguson has a fake belt. Nobody wants this.”