The next challenger for the UFC lightweight title is still uncertain. Khabib Nurmagomedov successfully defended his title against Dustin Poirier in UFC 242. But who is next for the unbeaten champion? We have George St Pierre, Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje and Conor McGregor looking for a fight against Nurmagomedov.
Well, Tony Ferguson seems the right choice for the next challenger. He has been on a winning streak for years. He was the interim lightweight champion. So Tony Ferguson vs Khabib Nurmagomedov seems to be the fight to make. Khabib Nurmagomedov himself considers Tony Ferguson the most deserving of a title shot in the whole division. However, his manager Ali Abdelaziz does not agree with the Russian champion.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Ali Abdelaziz claims that Tony Ferguson is not the next opponent for Khabib Nurmagomedov and he would rather see Gaethje fight for the title. Ali Abdelaziz said:
“Tony Ferguson fought one time in 2017, one time in 2018 and one time in 2019. And he declined the title fight, right? He doesn’t deserve shit. Sit back, when they call your number answer, get your a** in the cage and get your ass whooped. Simple.”
Ali Abdelaziz even put advocated for Justin Gaethje to fight Khabib next by claiming Gaethje is a more dominant fighter and deserving of the title shot. Abdelaziz claimed:
“To be honest Justin have a better case than Tony. He fought 8 times in the last 3 years. His career is a highlight reel. He dominates people. Tony Ferguson is like he punched me one I’ll punch you back. He takes me down one time I’ll take him back. Justin Gaethje is more dominant than Tony every day of the week.”
“He(Justin Gaethje) should skip Tony. Justin Gaethje should fight Khabib next. At the end of the day, you can’t deny Tony cause he has a huge winning streak. But he fought 3 times in the last 3 years.” said Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager.
Khabib Nurmagomedov defended his title in September this year and he is likely to return to the octagon in March or April next year as informed by Ali Abdelaziz. “Khabib is ready. Khabib is training. He is non stop training. One of the greatest fighter we have ever seen. “ said Abdelaziz.
With Khabib Nurmagomedov inclining towards the fight with George St Pierre and his manager leaning towards the fight Justin Gaethje, the future of Tony Ferguson seems a bit uncertain.