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The UFC Fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov Told To Face Conor McGregor

The UFC Fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov Told To Face Conor McGregor

Khabib Nurmagomedov told Justin Gaethje to take on Conor McGregor in a huge money fight before they lock horns for the UFC lightweight championship but 'The Highlight' isn't keen.

At UFC 249 in May, Gaethje produced a career-defining performance to beat Tony Ferguson and become interim lightweight champion - and set up a unification title bout with the undefeated Khabib.

Image: PA
Image: PA

And through Ali Abdelaziz, who manages both fighters, Khabib urged Gaethje to square off against McGregor - though he was not onboard with the suggestion.

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He told TMZ Sports: "Justin said no, Khabib told me to tell Justin to go fight Conor, Justin said no.

"Listen, we dictate this, Conor right now, he can be a back-up fighter, he can go make win, he can maybe make some money.

"He's [McGregor] not even number three, he's number four or five.

"Conor he can go fight [Jorge] Masvidal, we have no interest in fighting him, he needs to get some wins, he needs to fight some good opponents."

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Prior to his "retirement announcement", McGregor had been very vocal about wanting a rematch with Khabib following his dismal defeat at UFC 229 - and of course the absolute madness that followed post-fight at the T-Mobile Arena.

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Image: PA
Image: PA

According to Abdelaziz, there's only one way the Irishman can get another shot at Khabib.

Abdelaziz stated: "I said, the only way he can fight Khabib is if he fights Islam Makhachev and Khabib will fight him."

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McGregor, who ripped into Gaethje and the rest of the lightweight contenders following UFC 249, said UFC should have put him and Gaethje for the interim title.

He told ESPN in June: "They should have just kept the ball rolling. I mean, why are they pushing [Khabib vs Gaethje] back to September?

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"You know what's going to happen in September, something else is going to happen in September, and that's not going to happen. I laid out a plan and a method that was the right move, the right methods to go with.

"And they always want to baulk at that and not make it happen or just drag it on. Whatever I say, they want to go against it to show some kind of power. They should have just done the fight -- me and Justin for the interim title -- and just kept the ball rolling."

Topics: Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor Mcgregor, Justin Gaethje, UFC News, MMA News, UFC, MMA

Josh Lawless

Josh is a sports journalist who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.