Khabib Nurmagomedov has the opportunity to have his nine-month Nevada State Athletic Commission suspension reduced if he produces an anti-bullying PSA, but it appears as though the UFC lightweight champion isn’t willing to cooperate.
Nurmagomedov was suspended nine months and fined $500,000 for inciting a post-fight melee following his victory over Conor McGregor in the UFC 229 main event at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Oct. 6. With the reduced suspension, “The Eagle” would be eligible to return to the Octagon as soon as April.
“[The NSAC] said to take part in a social campaign… the state of Nevada is a place where they allow drugs, prostitution and gambling,” Nurmagomedov told Russian Website sportbox.ru. “Let them work on themselves [and their own behavior]. There were fighters who didn’t fight for two years and didn’t have their belts taken for a year and a half.
“I’m ready to fight, they were the ones who banned me.”
Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, claimed that his fighter will no longer compete in Las Vegas as a result of the sanctions, including the one-year suspensions given to training partners Zubaira Tukhugov and Abubakar Nurmagomedov. Instead, the Dagestani grappler is targeting a return to action at the UFC’s next card at Madison Square Garden in November.
Nurmagmedov told SportBox that he expects Tony Ferguson and Dustin Poirier to square off for an interim title in his absence, and he will face the winner (he predicts Ferguson will win) at the end of the year.