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02nd Jan 2017

Khabib Nurmagomedov wants 80,000 seater stadium fight with Conor McGregor following huge world tour

Sounds familiar

Ben Kiely

It sounds an awful lot like Khabib Nurmagomedov wants to fight Conor McGregor at UFC 189, but only if they can redo that event on home turf.

First and foremost though, the undefeated Dagestani only has eyes for a fight against fellow streaking UFC lightweight Tony Ferguson, who’s unbeaten in his last nine bouts.

Speaking on the MMA Hour, Nurmagomedov confirmed that he would be willing to pay Ferguson $200,000 out of his own pocket to get the fight booked. However, ‘El Cucuy’ turned the money down earlier on the show, explaining that it’s up for the UFC to flash the cash.

Despite this speed bump, both parties seem confident that the fight will get made in 2017, with the 24-0 Sambo specialist admitting that it’s his first goal in a rather ambitious calendar he has planned for the next 12 months.

“Tony Ferguson have nine-fight in streak. He deserve it too. That’s why I want him up close. I want to beat Tony Ferguson, take interim bullshit belt and after fight with Conor for real belt. This is what I want in 2017.”

With the UFC looking to break into the massive Russian market this year, Nurmagomedov looks to be the perfect posterboy to build up the promotion in that region. He believes he has the requisite profile to headline a card on home territory, but if he gets matched up against McGregor he would like to go on a world tour with ‘the Notorious’ to promote the event, much like Jose Aldo did for UFC 189.

“I am famous in Russia and we have to say Conor is famous in Russia too. If UFC make a promo tour all over the world like Rio de Janeiro, Las Vegas, New York, Toronto, London, Moscow, Tokyo, everywhere make this PR programme.”

“After this UFC give me and Conor three months for preparing and make this 80,000 arena in Moscow, I think 100% we can sell all these tickets.”

Before everyone starts getting excited about the prospect of seeing McGregor playing up the Rocky IV comparisons on a huge tour across the globe (surely he’ll recruit a robot butler) it’s important to note that none of the necessary requirements are in place to make this fight happen.

Nurmagomedov hasn’t defeated Ferguson for the ‘interim bullshit belt’, hell, they haven’t even set a fight date yet, the UFC hasn’t secured a Russian event, we don’t know how willing the new owners would be to splash out on an expensive world tour and most importantly, McGregor hasn’t given much clues about his next move yet.

However, we do know that the UFC are trying their best to get into Russia and Dana White cited Nurmagomedov vs McGregor as a potential fight to headline the country’s first UFC card, so we’ll live in hope.