Lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagamedov says he won’t face Conor McGregor if he wins the belt against Tony Ferguson in April.
“When I beat Tony Ferguson, I’m gonna make McGregor a bit humble and he has to stay on the line,” Nurmagomedov said. “He has to stay on the line because he only has one fight at 155. And he wants to fight for the title? No, no way. When I become UFC lightweight champ, I’m gonna say, ‘Hey, who is the real contender? Who has five, six, seven-win streak?’ They have to fight for the title, not for you. We’ll see what happens. But I don’t think he’ll ever fight with me. I think they understand what’s gonna happen.”
While there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the status of the lightweight belt following McGregors prolonged absence, Nurmagamedov will be confident in his place if he defeats current interim champion Tony Ferguson at UFC 223
“This is not Conor belt,” Nurmagomedov said. “This is not interim Tony Ferguson belt. This is an undisputed belt. And after when we fight April 7, they’re gonna make it official. Who wins becomes real champ. Now, Tony Ferguson is still interim champion. And Conor McGregor, they call him the champion, but he isn’t the champ. Whoever wins is gonna become real champ.”
The confident Russian, now on a 24 fight win streak, also broke down what he thought of his next opponent Ferguson in the build-up to their upcoming bout.
“I don’t think he has better jiu-jitsu than me, better grappling,” Nurmagomedov said of Ferguson. “I think he’s unpredictable a bit. He has very good knee, very good elbow. But I don’t think he ever fight with somebody like me, who has like pressure, top control, good everywhere. Strong. When we go to the cage, when cage close, we’re gonna show this. Me and Tony Ferguson is a different level.”