Khabib Nurmadgmedov successfully defended his UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 242 with a third-round submission win over Dustin Poirier. With the win, Nurmagomedov improved his undefeated record to (28-0) and totaled his 10th career submission victory.
After the fight, speculation about a potential rematch between Khabib and former light heavyweight champion Connor McGregor began to spiral when McGregor took to Twitter to make his case.
McGregor’s tweet simply stated: “Book my rematch for Moscow.”
The 31-year-old Irishman has a mixed martial arts record of 21-4 with 18 KOs and one submission. To note, all four of his professional losses have come by submission.
The last time these two met in the octagon was at UFC 229, and the Irishmen didn’t necessarily put his money where his mouth was. Nurmagomedov dominated in nearly every facet of the fight before ultimately submitting McGregor in the fourth round via neck crank.
Khabib hit McGregor with 19 more significant strikes, 58 total strikes to the head, and took him down three times before finally submitting.
The true chaos ensued after the fight when a massive brawl broke out after McGregor was blind sided and struck by a member of Khabib’s camp in the ring. Nurmagomedov then proceeded to jump over the cage and take the fight with McGregor’s camp into the crowd.
Fast forward to the present day and McGregor has not fought since, having gone as far as announcing his “retirement” on social media.
Despite McGregor’s recent persistence, it doesn’t seem like Nurmagomedov will provide him with an opportunity for a fight. Khabib’s manager Ali Abdelaziz answered the media after his fighter’s recent win against Poirer, stating that there is a “zero” percent chance of a rematch.
If the fight happened, I’m giving the edge to Khabib. I think McGregor would struggle on the ground yet again, and Khabib would win by submission in the fourth round.
In the meantime, what’s next for Khabib? The short answer is Tony Ferguson.
Ferguson is an experienced fighter with a mixed martial arts record of 25-3 with 12 KOs and 8 submissions. Ferguson has won 11 straight fights dating back to 2012, including wins over Donald Cerrone, Anthony Pettis and Rafael dos Ajos.
In 2017, “El Cucuy” held the interim Lightweight Championship when it was stripped from McGregor due to inactivity, but would then be stripped of that same title due to injury.
The fight is tentatively set for December 30th, but that may end up changing. Either way, Khabib should have his hands full with Ferguson who matches his fighting style in many ways.
Both fighters are experts when it comes to the art of submission, and can surely stand on their two feet to throw hands when need be. I’ll give the nod to the reigning and undefeated champion, but with the line currently sitting at +166 for the challenger, the sports books can also sense this being a close fight.
Bet on the fight here: https://www.oddschecker.com/us/boxing-mma/ufc-mma/khabib-nurmagomedov-v-tony-ferguson