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The winner of McGregor vs. Poirier II should fight for the UFC lightweight title: Khabib Nurmagomedov

UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference
UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference
Modified 29 Dec 2020, 03:02 IST

Khabib Nurmagomedov believes that the UFC 257 main event between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier will define the future of the vacant UFC lightweight belt.

In an interview with Match TV in Russia, the retired champion talked about his chances of returning to the Octagon, the difficulties of his last fight, and who he believes will be the next UFC lightweight champion.

The former titleholder highlighted the quality of the division that he used to compete in. According to Nurmagomedov, the UFC lightweight division is the most exciting weight class in the promotion. He puts Poirier, McGregor, and compatriot Islam Makhachev at the top of the lightweight division at the moment.

When asked about who he thinks will be the heir of his belt, Nurmagomedov gave an answer that has been nurtured by many as of late.

"The winner of Conor McGregor versus Dustin Poirier bout should fight for the belt, but I don't know who their opponent will be."

Many have considered that the UFC 257 main event should be for the UFC lightweight championship since the bout was announced. Poirier is one of the voices pushing the possibility forward.

UFC president Dana White initially rejected the rumor that McGregor vs. Poirier would be for the interim belt, but at the time, he still believed that he could convince Nurmagomedov to reconsider his retirement.

The two are set to meet next month in Abu Dhabi, and many believe that it will be White's last effort towards Khabib Nurmagomedov. In the same interview with Match TV, the former unbeaten UFC lightweight champion reiterated that he doesn't wish to return to the Octagon.

"I would not like that [return to the UFC]. Dana White and I are constantly in touch - we did not discuss the future of the belt. I think this is because the organization really wants me to resume my career. This is understandable - I spent nine years in the league, I had a lot of fights, became the champion, defended the title, never lost, I have a huge fan base from all over the world. My performances are already in history. The desire of the UFC is clear to me, and I do not blame them," declared Khabib Nurmagomedov. "I will not hide: they [the UFC] try to persuade me to return. They offer conditions, fighters - but they have no one that makes me interested. Soon, in a couple of weeks, we will meet with Dana and discuss."

Asked if there is any fighter that would make him consider returning to fighting, Khabib Nurmagomedov answered honestly.

"Perhaps Muhammad Ali. But, unfortunately, he is no longer with us."

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Georges St-Pierre

A possibility lifted by former UFC middleweight title contender Chael Sonnen is that Georges St-Pierre is keeping himself in shape because he wants to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Sonnen believes that GSP would return for a fight against the unbeaten UFC lightweight champion. Khabib Nurmagomedov has also expressed his wish to fight GSP in the past.

"Regarding Georges St-Pierre, that fight really inspires me. It was my father's dream fight... I want that fight," said Khabib Nurmagomedov to RT Sports.

It would be the UFC dream to make two of the best-ever MMA fighters return at the same time, even more so if they were to face each other.

Who do you think would win between Georges St-Pierre and Khabib Nurmagomedov? Sound off in the comments.

Published 29 Dec 2020, 03:02 IST
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