Khabib Nurmagomedov is three weeks into his reign as undisputed lightweight champion in the UFC, and with a raft of fighters lining up to challenge the Dagestani fighter, he knows exactly who he wants for his first title defence.
Speaking at a Q&A event at a Russian University yesterday the 29-year-old revealed that he has held talks the UFC regarding fighting Conor McGregor, but only if the Dubliner can fight this year:
We’re talking, but if it takes too long, I don’t want to do that. If he wants to fight this year, then we can fight. Otherwise, I don’t know. We won’t wait long. I want to fight Conor and if he can fight, I will fight him.
Nurmagomedov did discuss other potential opponents, ruling out Tony Ferguson due to his ongoing rehabilitation from a knee injury sustained in the build up to their proposed bout at UFC 223. He also dismissed lightweight contender Eddie Alvarez declaring that he will tell the American to 'take a hike' if he comes looking for a fight.
Meanwhile, Nurmagomedov's coach Javier Mendez told Express Sport that he believes McGregor will finish his trilogy bout with Nate Diaz before taking on 'The Eagle':
The next big one that’s going to happen before that, in my opinion, and I believe the logical step for Conor would be to fight Nate Diaz.
McGregor's availability to contest any fight in the UFC will depend on the outcome of his court case which takes place on June the 14th. The Notorious has been charged with three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief following an attack on a bus containing Nurmagomedov at a UFC media day in Brooklyn.
You can watch Nurmagomdov's full Q & A session below: