This Saturday, undefeated lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov will step into the Octagon against streaking lightweight contender Tony Ferguson in a highly anticipated showdown for the interim UFC lightweight title in the co-main event of a stacked card.
In addition to the pair finally stepping into the Octagon together after having the fight fall through on several occasions, the fight will determine which man will fight UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor when he chooses to return to the Octagon following the birth of his firstborn son in May.
With that being said however, Nurmagomedov has zero plans to wait around for McGregor if he wins the interim lightweight title this weekend.
He spoke to Fox Sports:
“I DON’T GIVE A [EXPLETIVE] ABOUT CONOR,” NURMAGOMEDOV SAID AT HIS Q&A SESSION AHEAD OF UFC 209. “I THINK ABOUT ONLY BELT. WHEN I COME TO THE UFC, I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT CONOR ‘OH I WANT TO FIGHT WITH HIM, MAKE MONEY’ SOMETHING LIKE THIS. I THINK ABOUT ONLY THE BELT.
“I THINK I BEAT TONY FERGUSON, AFTER CONOR SAYS HE DOESN’T WANT TO DEFEND HIS TITLE BECAUSE HE NEVER DEFENDS HIS TITLE AND I’LL FIGHT WITH ANOTHER TOUGH CONTENDER. I DON’T KNOW WHO, MAYBE [MICHAEL] CHIESA OR [EDSON] BARBOZA, SOMEBODY LIKE THIS.”
“I WANT TO FIGHT FOR THE TITLE BECAUSE I COME TO THE UFC TO FIGHT FOR THE TITLE,” NURMAGOMEDOV SAID. “WHEN YOU HAVE MONEY IT’S GOOD. MORE MONEY, MORE PROBLEMS.
“[MCGREGOR] UNDERSTANDS WHO IS WHO. I DON’T THINK HE WANTS TO DEFEND HIS TITLE.”
It is important to mention that while McGregor’s name has continually been mentioned along with Floyd Mayweather’s for a highly anticipated boxing match, UFC President Dana White has maintained that he expects the lightweight champ’s next fight to take place in the UFC.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/28/2017.