Will it be a HUGE rematch with Conor McGregor next? Or a shock return for George St-Pierre? Sportsmail analyses who Khabib Nurmagomedov could fight next after his dominant victory over Dustin Poirier
- Khabib Nurmagomedov beat Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 by submission
- Dana White has confirmed that Tony Ferguson is next in line for title shot
- Khabib interested in George St-Pierre fight with proceeds going to charity
Khabib Nurmagomedov walked away from UFC 242 as the undisputed lightweight champion after a third-round submission of Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi.
The Russian will now take a break after his victory for which he pocketed three times more than his $2million payday against Conor McGregor, according to his father.
Sportsmail assess Khabib’s options which includes Tony Ferguson, Conor McGregor and George St-Pierre.
Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Dustin Poirier to extend his unbeaten MMA record to 28
After four failed attempts to make this fight happen due to injuries and weight cutting problems will this be fifth time lucky?
Dana White has already said what will happen next in the lightweight division during the post-fight UFC 242 conference.
‘Tony Ferguson gets the next shot, and obviously, if for whatever reason Tony can’t take the fight or doesn’t want to fight at that time, then we would figure out what’s next.’
Ferguson has already stated he wanted the winner of this fight and will be confident he can dethrone the champ after wins against Donald Cerrone earlier this year and Anthony Pettis last year.
Should the Tony Ferguson fight with Khabib fail to materialise, White has made it clear that McGregor would make sense.
McGregor has already made it clear he wants the fight after tweeting straight after the UFC 242 fight to book their rematch in Moscow.
White backed up Irishman’s thirst for a rematch in the post-fight conference: ‘Conor McGregor wants that fight really badly, and I’m sure the fans would want to see it.’
Obviously for White the rematch is a no-brainer after their first encounter was the most profitable fight in UFC history and McGregor’s absence from the Octagon for almost a year.
Khabib Nurmagomdeov defeated Conor McGregor at UFC 229 by fourth round submission
However, Khabib has made it clear that he doesn’t believe that Mystic Mac deserves the opportunity in an exclusive interview with ESPN stating: ‘This guy [McGregor] have to come back and make nine or 10-fight win streak. Then we gonna fight.
‘I want to fight real guys – Dustin Poirier, Tony Ferguson, maybe if one of the greatest athletes ever, Georges St-Pierre, wants to fight. I want to fight those guys. I don’t want to fight with a guy who never wins.’
On Saturday night Khabib suggested in his post-fight UFC 242 conference that UFC legend St-Pierre could come out of retirement and face him at 155lb with the proceeds made from this fight going to charity.
‘George St Pierre is great. A great guy, great champion, and a great athlete. He is very good example for young kids. I know he is retired, but if he wanna come back and if he feel hungry and if he feel he can improve his legacy with a fight with me and he can make 155, I am waiting for him.,
‘Maybe I can fight with GSP. George St Pierre is very very big star. They can build this arena in next three months. And we can fight somewhere in Congo. And all money we make we can use on charity.’
White was also fielded the question of whether Khabib and GSP could happen in the future which was met by the UFC president with a long hesitant pause followed by a ‘sure’.
GSP, prior to the Khabib’s UFC 242 fight, replied when asked why UFC never made the fight between the Canadian and the Russian happen before his retirement: ‘It makes sense in a way that my agent explained to me.
‘Maybe (Nurmagomedov) represents a significant investment to the UFC. He’s reached a different type of clientele, maybe in the Middle East, and (has) the Muslim world idolising him. He’s like an icon.’
‘Imagine that they invest a lot of money to promote a big fight between Khabib and I, and I win the fight? I’m out. I’m not interested in signing a fight with Khabib and guaranteeing that I want to go back and fight another contender.’