When Khabib Nurmagomedov returns from suspension, which is rumored to be in the September 7 headliner in Abu Dhabi against Dustin Poirier, he will look to stay active with three title defenses within an 11 fight stretch. Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz disclosed how Khabib has these three fights mapped out, including a specific name for the third fight:
“He gave me very specific instructions,” Abdelaziz told ESPN. “He said he wants to fight Sept. 7 and again in December. And if [former welterweight champion] Georges St-Pierre can figure things out with the UFC by April, that’s the deal. He would like that fight in April.”
Abdelaziz would go on to explain Khabib’s eagerness to return to activity is not strictly for self-fulfillment but because the division is in a high-need status of remaining fluid:
“The lightweight division has a lot of contenders, and we need to keep the division going,” Abdelaziz said. “Khabib has done this before. He fought [Edson Barboza], Al [Iaquinta] and Conor [McGregor] in less than one year [from December 2017 to October 2018]. If it can be Georges in April, he would love that fight. If not, it can be any contender.”
One name that is sure to garner attention as a potential opponent for Khabib is his most recent opponent, Conor McGregor. Conor McGregor has made it known that he would love a rematch with Khabib, but Abdelaziz discloses that the Khabib camp believes there is only one way that fight will happen:
“To be honest, Conor is going to have to go out there and fight somebody like Justin Gaethje, Tony Ferguson or Cowboy [Donald Cerrone],” Abdelaziz said. “He’s not a worthy enough opponent right now. That’s the feeling from all of us, as a team.”
If Khabib’s schedule outline comes to past, whom do you believe he would face in December for his third title defense?