Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov appears to be entertaining the idea of fighting the winner of Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier’s in-the-works rematch next, but only on one condition – they have to fight at 155lbs.
“I still feel this but you have to fight at 155,” Nurmagomedov told TSN. “If they fight at 170 or 185, this is not lightweight contender fight. If you want to fight at lightweight contender for the belt you have to fight at lightweight. What is this, like? ‘OK, I’m champion at 155. OK, give me a fight at 170. OK, let’s make weight with Justin Gaethje at 170.’ Same thing. If you want to fight for the title at 155, you have to make 155.”
Khabib also stated his belief that Poirier has played a weak hand during the McGregor fight negotiations so far.
“I don’t understand why Dustin show his weakness,” Nurmagomedov said. “This is just my opinion. You have to say something. Hey, this is my opinion. He has to do something to it. OK, they ask him to fight. Conor say ‘I’m going to donate you money.’ He said, ‘Yes, yes, yes, anywhere,’ but Dustin is a lightweight fighter. He’s not a welterweight fighter. Why are you going to fight at 170? If you want to fight for the title next, you have to make 155 (and) fight in the lightweight division. This is just my opinion. We’ll see. We’ll see.”
Nurmagomedov has continued to flip-flop himself between refusing to fight McGregor under any circumstances to appearing open to the idea under certain conditions, but the most important thing for him right now is to ensure he still has control over his own destiny heading into 2021 by defeating Justin Gaethje on Saturday night at UFC 254.