The death of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father Abdulmanap recently has led to speculation that perhaps the lightweight champion might not fight this year, or indeed may even hang up his gloves for good, but that’s not the case according to his manager Ali Abdelaziz.
“Khabib is not retiring,” Abdelaziz told TMZ Sports. “Khabib has some goals, he has some things he wants to accomplish. You will see him before the end of the year.
“Now him and Dana (are) talking and me talking to the matchmakers and we’ll try to set a date. I’m sure Dana is gonna let everybody know when Khabib is gonna fight.
“We have a blockbuster main event, him versus Justin Gaethje, two of the best lightweights in the world today and the recent era.
We see what Khabib does to all his opponents. We see what Justin Gaethje did his last four opponents. He dismantled Tony Ferguson. He made him look like an absolute amateur and that’s the best two guys in the world. They’re gonna fight.”
However, when it comes to the chances of Khabib rematching Conor McGregor, Abdelaziz is quick to brush aside the idea.
“Listen, we dictate this,” Abdelaziz said. “Conor right now he can be a backup fighter, he can go make weight, and he can maybe make some money, but at the end of the day, that’s the two champions.
He’s not even number three. He’s number four or five. Conor can go fight Nate (Diaz) or (Jorge) Masvidal. We’re not interested in fighting him. He needs to get some wins and he needs to fight some good opponents.”