Rumors are starting to build that the UFC may be trying to put together an interim title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson in the coming months, but ‘The Eagle’s’ manager appears to have just thrown a spanner in the works.
“Khabib’s next fight, we’re not fighting for no damn interim belt,” Ali Abdelaziz told MMAfighting.com. “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.”
This appears like a calculated move on their part to get Dana White to stay true to his word that the UFC would strip current lightweight champion of his title if he didn’t defend it soon.
It remains to be seen if the UFC brass would really go through with that given that McGregor is by far and away their biggest, most powerful star, but one person who believes they will is color commentator Joe Rogan.
“I think they’re going to strip him, because Conor’s got $100 million in the bank, and he’s having fun and talking s***, and he’s going to keep training,” Rogan told Tyron Woodley on his ‘MMA Show’ podcast this week. “And he’s going to make a big fight in the future, but I think Khabib and Tony is the big fight and f***, they might even do that one in Russia. They’re talking about doing a big fight in Russia.”