Khabib Nurmagomedov isn’t a fan of people getting lost in the hype of MMA. As the sport has grown, there has been the emergence of a clear demarcation between fights. Meaningful fights which lead to glory and title shots, or money fights which are blatant cash grabs. Sometimes the two can cross over and create larger-than-life shows. But there needs to be a tangible MMA resume behind it.
For Khabib Nurmagomedov, a lightweight title contender must be winning fights at lightweight. This is what has led him to question Dustin Poirier’s intentions when he accepted a fight against Conor McGregor at welterweight.
“I don’t understand why Dustin show his weakness. Just my opinion. They ask him for fight, Conor said I’m gonna donate you money. He said yes. But Dustin is Lightweight fighter, he’s not welterweight fighter. Why you gonna fight at 170? If you wanna fight for the title next, you have to make weight at 155. This is just my opinion.”
Khabib and Poirier had a respectful relationship heading into their fight, and Khabib even donated to Poirier’s charity. However, this isn’t a slight at Poirier by Khabib, just the relaying of a very valid question he has.
Nurmagomedov obviously respects Poirier as a fighter. They had a good fight last year. Even though Khabib won convincingly, Poirier had him in a deep guillotine choke which could have ended the fight. It didn’t and thus this situation has been created. He did fight and beat Dan Hooker earlier this year, but his fight against Tony Ferguson fell through. That fight would have clearly pointed out who was next for either Khabib or Gaethje.
Fighting McGregor always makes sense from a financial standpoint. But Khabib is right. How can Conor and Dustin fight at Welterweight and the winner gets a Lightweight title shot? That makes no sense and is disrespectful to a lot of fighters that cut down to make that weight. Conor hasn’t fought at 155 since his loss to Khabib in 2018.
The questions are valid, and hopefully, the UFC or the fighters in question can clarify the actual stakes of this fight outside a charity donation.
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