Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion Conor McGregor has gone on record to say his main priority is now to legitimize the promotion’s 155-pound title after scratching the Floyd Mayweather boxing match off his list.
Though it’s well-documented “Notorious” has never defended any titles he’s ever won in and out of the Octagon, the Irishman says he has no qualms in facing the winner of the upcoming interim title fight between Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee, which is set to go down this Saturday (Oct. 7, 2017) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
According to Ali Abdelaaziz — manager to division No. 1 contender Khabib Nurmagomedov — there is no way Conor fights Lee, Ferguson, or Nurmagomedov, especially when you consider how “The Eagle” is more likely to take McGregor down and beat the money out of him.
“Listen, Conor is making a statement, his coaching is making a statement. We know for goddamn sure Conor is not fighting Tony Ferguson, he’s not fighting Khabib, this is fact,” proclaimed Ali during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour. “He’s not fighting those guys. The statement he’s making, it’s the same tactic UFC has been doing for years. He is very much doing UFC’s work for them.”
According to Ali, all the reports of Conor’s intentions to fight “The Eagle” in Russia are false, and are only being put out there to raise McGregor’s stock even further.
“You hear all of these reports that Conor is going to fight Khabib in Russia, there’s a reason Dana is the pound-for-pound promoter in the sport, because the motherfucker, when it comes to this, he’s God,” he added. “He promotes, he’s the Mike Tyson of promotion. When he says stuff like that, Conor’s stock goes up. He says Conor wants to go to Russia to fight this guy that use to fight bears, lions. But, at the end of the day, Conor is a smart businessman with a good team behind him. And UFC is smart. Why the hell is a guy who brings in millions and millions of dollars going to fight Khabib who will take him down for five rounds and beat his ass?”
“Every time (Khabib) punches him, the money will go down. After he’s finished with Conor, there will be no money left. It will be a stupid decision for Conor, of UFC or his team to even think about fighting Khabib. It makes no sense. If I am the promoter, I would keep Conor way the fuck away from Khabib. I wouldn’t’ even mention his name,” added Abdelaziz, who said he is more likely to face another one of his top 155-pound fighters due to his preference to stand-and-bang.
“I will see Conor fighting Justing Gaethje before fighting Ferguson, or Khabib. there’s a reason. He will find Justin Gaethje, bro, Gaethje is going to stand up with him and won’t take him down to his weakness. Conor is a great striker, but he’s a white belt on the ground.”