Former UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson is ranked #1 in the UFC Lightweight Division rankings, but Abdelaziz says that Ferguson won’t be fighting Nurmagomedov next.
“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,” he said to MMA Fighting. “One-hundred percent, Tony Ferguson is not the next fight, because Tony Ferguson — I need somebody who can sell pay-per-views. At the end of the day, it will be the exact same situation. Khabib was supposed to fight Eddie Alvarez, remember that? When he got taken out [in place of Conor McGregor], we understood it because Conor’s going to bring pay-per-views. We need people who can help us sell pay-per-views, and that’s it.”
Ferguson and Nurmagomedov were scheduled to meet multiple times in the UFC already, but injuries to both fighters prevents those encounters from taking place.
Abdelaziz says that Nurmagomedov doesn’t need to compete anymore, since his legacy has already been established.
“At the end of the day, Khabib doesn’t need to fight anybody else for his legacy,” Abdelaziz said. “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.”
It could be awhile before Nurmagomedov fights anybody, as the champion is still awaiting punishment from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for the post-fight brawl at UFC 229.