Nurmagomedov manager: McGregor doesn’t deserve fight
Conor McGregor hasn’t fought since November 12, 2016, when he defeated Eddie Alvarez for the UFC lightweight championship. He took off a year to box Floyd Mayweather, making about $100 million. Then he took some time off for the birth of his son. And now he’s not fighting until a court case resolves in Brooklyn, NY; it’s scheduled for Thursday.
McGregor is likely to get no time, a fine, and community service. By Brooklyn standards, throwing a hand truck at a bus is classified as only marginally worse than shouting, “Howdy, stranger” too enthusiastically. And McGregor’s stature is such that rather than costing the community to pay for his food and forced lodging, he can do something positive.
With that out of the way, McGregor says he wants back in the Octagon.
Last month UFC president Dana White said he thinks the opponent will be new lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“I’m pretty confident that that is the fight that Conor wants, and I’m pretty confident that that is the fight that Khabib wants,” said White. “So, yeah, I could see that happening. … But there’s no fight to make until we figure out what happens with Conor.”
However, Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz says it’s time for McGregor to stand in line.
“We believe the fight to make is the Georges St-Pierre fight at 155 pounds,” said Ali Abdelaziz to Ariel Helwani for MMA Fighting. “Khabib wants to fight for legacy and not for a soap opera drama show, and we think Conor doesn’t deserve this opportunity. The guy hasn’t fought in almost two years. Why does he deserve to fight for the title? He should get his ass back in the line and work his way up.”
“There’s only one reason Khabib wants to fight him: to make him pay for what he did [in Brooklyn]. For Khbaib, it’s not only about money. It’s about disciplining him. That being said, UFC should be talking to Georges, not Conor.”
Helwani also referenced what is in effect a four-man tournament, with GSP vs. Nate Diaz and McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov. That’s not working out as expected, but things never do in the fight business.
There is also the unresolved issue of what sanction McGregor will face from the UFC. His actions, which were premeditated to the point that he flew across the ocean with a flock of village idiots, led to the injury of two fighters to the point that they couldn’t fight the next day.
When Paul Daley in a split second of frustration threw a late shot at Josh Koscheck and missed, he was thrown out of the UFC for life. McGregor makes the league far more money than Daley did, so his punishment is likely going to be seeing footage of his wheels coming off being used as a marketing tool to increase the PPV that he will profit handsomely from.
It’s another sign that MMA and the UFC are not yet a real sport, for better and for worse.