Khabib Nurmagomedov is going to be challenging UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson this March at UFC 223.
Both competitors could be fighting for the undisputed UFC Lightweight Title if the promotion decides to strip Conor McGregor of his title. If that does happen and Nurmagomedov becomes champion, it may be some time before McGregor gets a shot at the gold.
“I’m gonna make humble Conor,” said Nurmagomedov during the Metro PCS UFC 220 live stream. “I’m gonna beat Tony and I’m gonna say to Conor, ‘Hey, you have to go into the line,’ because you have to deserve this. He has only one fight at 155. I am 25-0 at 155. Undefeated. Undisputed. I’m going to take this belt, and we’ll see what happens.”
McGregor hasn’t stepped foot in the Octagon since UFC 205, which is a huge reason that he may soon be stripped of the title.
Nurmagomedov isn’t looking past the upcoming UFC 223 opponent in Ferguson, whom Nurmagomedov know is going to be a tough challenge.
“I have a tough opponent,” said Nurmagomedov. “Tony Ferguson, for my opinion, he’s real champ, and I’m gonna smash this guy. This is my plan. I’m going to smash this guy, make this guy humble too because he’s a little bit stupid. He’s tough opponent, very good fighter, but personality, I don’t like him. I have to come to show [with] no injuries, make weight, and that’s it. Somebody has to close us inside the cage and that’s it. I’m gonna beat him everywhere. My grappling is a different level than him. He thinks he’s grappling with Eddie Bravo and he’s good on the ground but I’m gonna show him.”
UFC 223 takes place on Saturday, April 7 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York with Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.