Khabib Nurmagomedov's manager Ali Abdelaziz has ruled out a return to the Octagon against Tony Ferguson as his next fight, paving the wave for a potential rematch with Conor McGregor instead.
Numrmagomedov is still awaiting a sanction from the Nevada Athletic Commission after his post-fight conduct at UFC 229. However, when he does eventually return it will not be against Tony Ferguson despite his victory over Anthony Pettis on the same night last October.
Ferguson, who was on an 11-fight win streak, had called for the bout at the time.
Khabib and I deserve to fight. We need to fight for the fifth time, we need to try this out again. He is the champ, I was the interim champ. I’m still the fucking champ. There’s no BS in this.
Yet, speaking to MMAFighting, Abdelaziz claimed that fight is not lucrative enough.
At the end of the day, Khabib doesn’t need to fight anybody else for his legacy. He’s done what he’s done. He’s 27-0, he’s 12-0 in the UFC, he’s never been dropped, he’s never been caught, he’s never been knocked down. Let’s talk about a GOAT. No PEDs. We talk about the greatest of all-time, I think that he should be on top of the list, because he never lost to anybody. He’s never lost, he’s never been dropped, he’s never been stitched, nothing.
“So [we want] the biggest money fight he can make. Boxing, MMA, whatever. I love Tony Ferguson — he’s not that, I can tell you that. One-hundred percent, Tony Ferguson is not the next fight, because Tony Ferguson — I need somebody who can sell pay-per-views.
Interesting, Abdelaziz recently suggested that one viable option was a contest against Floyd Mayweather, indicating the 41-year-old wanted the bout: "He’s very much begging for the fight."
There is also the possibility of a rematch versus Conor McGregor, although that may depend on the Nevada Athletic Commission's decision.