UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov has been out of action for some time now due to a rib injury that almost made him retire from MMA. However, he is planning to a make a return to the Octagon soon.
According to Nurmagomedov, he thinks March is a perfect time to return. He also thinks that he will fight for the title at UFC 200 in July.
“I think, first of all, I need to stay healthy, and next year, I think March is a perfect date for me,” Nurmagomedov told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “I need to fight somebody in March and fight for the title maybe [at] UFC 200…This is my little dream now.”
When asked who he’d like to fight, Nurmagomedov rattled off several names.
“I think it’s perfect [if I fight] [Anthony] Pettis or [Eddie] Alvarez, or I think maybe Tony Ferguson,” he said. “If the UFC doesn’t give him [Ferguson] a title fight, I think we need to fight for the number-one contender fight. Tony Ferguson has a seven-[fight] win[ning] streak, and he deserves a title shot or a fight with me.”
Conor McGregor has been in the headlines for his win over Jose Aldo at UFC 194 and has talked about moving up to lightweight to challenge for the title in March then defend his featherweight title against Edgar at UFC 200.
However, Nurmagomedov believes that the Irish star needs to stay in his own weight class and fight Frankie Edgar instead.
“I think, my opinion, [is that] Conor has to stay in featherweight division,” Nurmagomedov said. “Because, if he moves to lightweight, a lot of people will say, ‘Hey, you [haven’t done] everything in featherweight. Because you have one beef here. This is Frankie Edgar.’ And everyone agrees with me.
McGregor has stated on several different occasions that he plans to fight Rafael dos Anos for the title in early 2016 instead of defending his title against Frankie Edgar next.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports