Khabib Nurmagomedov has his long awaited showdown with Conor McGregor looming at UFC 229, but according to his father, there is still plenty of interest in another potential opponent down the road.
In an interview with Russian journalist Azamat Bostanov (translation via RT Sport), Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov said that he will be pulling for Tony Ferguson to defeat Anthony Pettis on the same Oct. 6 card in Las Vegas. Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have been booked to fight on four different occasions — UFC 223, UFC 209, UFC on Fox 19 and “The Ultimate Fighter 22” finale — and each time, for various reasons, the bout has been canceled.
“For the hype, for the money, to bury Conor’s era it (the situation) is even better for us. But if we talk purely sports-wise — we still want the Ferguson fight,” Addulmanap Nurmagomedov said. “I really want him to come back and defeat Pettis. The intrigue is still there, and the whole world is interested. It would be 11-0 Khabib [in the UFC], 11-0 for him. And the fight that hasn’t happened yet.”
After Khabib captured the vacant crown at UFC 223, he mentioned a super fight with former welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St. Pierre. While UFC President Dana White claims that St. Pierre won’t be allowed to move to 155 pounds for a potential one-off fight, the Nurmagomedov clan still hasn’t given up on the possibility.
“Georges St. Pierre, who has never been defeated as a champion at 170. He came back and took the belt from [Michael] Bisping at 185. It’s always been a dream fight for me,” Abdulmanap said. “I’ve been following him for a long time. He is a Hall of Famer. He showcased so much in this sport.”
For now, however, there is more pressing business to handle. McGregor recently began the social media warfare by calling Abdulmanap a "quivering coward.” The elder Nurmagomedov seemed unfazed by the comment, pointing out that his son and McGregor will settle all their differences in the Octagon.
“Mentally they can’t get [under our skin]. In that aspect we are standing firm,” he said. “We are even letting certain things pass. But we are not forgiving anything. The cage and the fight are still ahead.”