UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov wants to see Dustin Poirier fight Conor McGregor at 155lbs if they want the title shot next.
For Khabib Nurmagomedov, a lightweight title contender must be winning fights at lightweight. When he was asked about Conor and Dustin’s fight at 170 he said that he has no idea how Poirier agreed to this fight if he wants to be in the title contention in the lightweight division. Nurmagomedov was seemingly unhappy with Poirier’s choice to agree to fight at welterweight.
With this blockbuster rematch between McGregor (22-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) and Poirier (27-6 MMA, 18-5 UFC) looming, Nurmagomedov (28-0 MMA, 12-0 UFC) is open to potentially fighting the winner. However, the fight between McGregor and Poirier, which has been offered for January, must not take place at welterweight – if either wants an immediate title shot, that is.
Nurmagomedov on McGregor vs Poirier 2 at 170
In an interview ahead of his UFC 254 title defense against Justin Gaethje, the undefeated UFC lightweight champion was asked his thoughts about McGregor vs Poirier 2.
“I still feel this but you have to fight at 155,” Nurmagomedov told TSN on Monday. “If they fight at 170 or 185, this is not a lightweight contender fight. If you want to fight as a lightweight contender for the belt you have to fight at lightweight. What is this, like? ‘OK, I’m champion at 155. OK, give me a fight at 170. OK, let’s make weight with Justin Gaethje at 170.’ Same thing. If you want to fight for the title at 155, you have to make 155.”
Nurmagomedov and Poirier squared off at UFC 242 in September 2019, with the Russian champion winning by third-round submission via rear-naked choke. Though they were largely respectful toward one another at the time, and have remained that way since Nurmagomedov was critical of Poirier’s decision to let McGregor dictate the terms of the fight.
“I don’t understand why Dustin shows his weakness,” Nurmagomedov said. “This is just my opinion. You have to say something. Hey, this is my opinion. He has to do something to it. OK, they ask him to fight. Conor says ‘I’m going to donate your money.’ He said, ‘Yes, yes, yes, anywhere,’ but Dustin is a lightweight fighter. He’s not a welterweight fighter. Why are you going to fight at 170? If you want to fight for the title next, you have to make 155 (and) fight in the lightweight division. This is just my opinion. We’ll see. We’ll see.”
Nurmagomedov also talked about McGregor
“If he beats [Poirier] at 155, it makes sense, but if they fight at 170, how can you fight at 170 and next fight you can fight at 155? They want to make everything easy,” Khabib said.
“If you want to take the easy way, you never deserve the next title shot. Remember, before I fought him, I told him, ‘I’m going to make you humble, and I’m going to put you in line,’” Nurmagomedov said.
“Now, after two years, people understand my word. I’m going to put him in line, and I’m going to make the decision. If he fights 170, bye-bye.”
Fighting McGregor always makes sense from a financial standpoint. But Khabib is making sense with his thoughts. Conor and Dustin fight at Welterweight and the winner gets a Lightweight title shot is not what Nurmagomedov agrees with.
Purchase the UFC merch here.