In speaking with TMZ Sports, the founder and owner of Dominance MMA said:
"Last week Dana White called me. He said Ali, what do you think if Khabib wins, him and Conor do The Ultimate Fighter on ESPN? This is breaking news I said, I don't know. I'll think about it. And he said, of course; and vice versa if Justin wins".
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor II unlikely to happen
So it seems, Ali brought the idea to Khabib Nurmagomedov; and "The Eagle" is the one who shot it down. Although that hasn't been saying officially.
The Ultimate Fighter is a show that started hot. But without changes happening constantly, the plot grew a little stale. Although it's still going. But by far the better show for talented UFC hopefuls is The Dana White Contender Series.
A fight, a win, and you're possibly in. Minus all the junior high school type drama from the TUF House. And it would be a return to the program for the 32-year-old Irishman. Conor McGregor coached against Urijah Faber in season 22 of the show. Conor famously wore dress clothes and a tie on the show. One of the big highlights that people still talk about was McGregor calling T.J. Dillashaw "a snake in the grass and a weasel" to Faber.
But due to the visceral hatred for McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov wants no part of running it back. Especially with it being his last fight. However, Nurmagomedov has no issues with Justin Gaethje doing it, if he can become the champion. Which would still be a payday for Ali as well, being Gaethje's manager also.
Before McGregor and White started their most recent "he DM'd this, he DM'd that" saga, the UFC President did say he had something big in store for Conor. And coaching another season of TUF might be it. And nobody could have seen that coming.
Ali Abdelaziz did offer some other options to coach against Conor McGregor on TUF. He offered up Justin Gaethje, Kamaru Usman, as well as the red hot Khamzat Chimaev. But that would be if he's done chasing guys like Diego Sanchez, Matt Brown, and Manny Pacquaio.
The choice not to do it also still leaves the question of who will be Khabib Nurmagomedov's final opponent. One may want Tony Ferguson, but that booking is more than jinxed at this point. He's run through the division decisively. Except for very few.
Dan Hooker might be the option. Hooker has the power, some speed, but the very second it goes to the ground it's over. Paul Felder and Charles Oliveira are both interesting matchups as well.Published 30 Sep 2020, 13:55 IST