Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier hasn’t been finalized, says Ali Abdelaziz.
Nurmagomedov is the reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight title holder. Poirier captured the interim 155-pound gold last month, taking a unanimous decision victory over Max Holloway. The next move is expected to be a title unification bout, but the stage hasn’t been set just yet.
Manager Speaks On Khabib vs. Poirier
Abdelaziz, who is Nurmagomedov’s manager, appeared on MMAFighting.com‘s “The MMA Hour.” During his appearance, Abdelaziz said the “The Eagle” vs. “The Diamond” isn’t a done deal:
“We’re working on it. We’re going through a couple things, I think it’s going well. But the fight is not finalized yet. That would be a good date (Sept. 7) for Khabib to come back. Khabib, he gave me — he wants to fight September, December, and April. These are the three dates he gave me. I let the UFC know. Poirier is a great opponent. You have a lot of lightweight fights coming up. You have (Donald) Cerrone and (Tony) Ferguson coming up. You have this guy Conor (McGregor) — but it’s funny, because if Conor went out there and got a win, he might over-leap all these guys again.
“It’s a promotion, right? At the end of the day, [McGregor] wanted a rematch. We said no. Khabib said no, he said it publicly: ‘No, he’s not getting a rematch. You’ve got to go out there and just get a win.’ … Everybody knows that’s the biggest money fight you can make, and the UFC’s a company to make money. Conor got a rematch every time he lost, right, outside Floyd. But in a way, I don’t think he deserves it.
“But there’s levels to this. I like Poirier a lot as a person. I know him, I trained with him before. I know him personally, we stayed together for almost a month, trained the whole month. He’s a great guy, he’s a great opponent. He’s dangerous, he has a lot of volume. But listen, 27 people tried, 27 failed. You’re going to get put on your back, you’re going to panic, you’re going to get outworked, and you’re probably going to get finished.”
UFC 242 will be taking place in Abu Dhabi on Sept. 7. Before the event announcement was made, Nurmagomedov said he made the trip to Abu Dhabi to discuss plans with the UFC. This has led many to believe that Nurmagomedov vs. Poirier will take place at UFC 242.