It remains to be seen if Khabib Nurmagomedov will face Tony Ferguson next, and win the interim lightweight belt. But even if he does, the fighter has little chance of fighting Conor McGregor, according to Michael Bisping.
Last Friday, the MMA world’s collective heart sunk, upon hearing the news that Nurmagomedov would not fight Tony Ferguson at UFC 209. According to reports, Nurmagomedov started running into medical issues on Thursday as he attempted to make 155 pounds, and by Friday morning, he was forced to visit a hospital.
Since then, Nurmagomedov has reported that he’s doing better, but it’s still unclear as to when and if he’ll fight Ferguson. Well, on the “Believe You Me” podcast, Mr. Bisping had this to say about “The Eagle”, and his chances now of fighting McGregor (quote via Bloody Elbow.com):
“One million per cent, it KILLS his chances of ever fighting Conor and it puts the UFC in a very difficult position,” Bisping said. “If they make that rematch between Khabib and Tony, and Khabib wins, there is no way Conor is going to accept that because he is going to say, ‘I’m not going to take that risk of having an entire fight camp for him not to make it to the Octagon so I’m not going to do it’.”
Bisping could very well be right about this. Now sure, if Nurmagomedov goes in, and absolutely dominates Ferguson to become the interim champ, then there will be considerable pressure for McGregor to fight him. But, Nurmagomedov has been forced out of several fights now in the last couple of years, so, getting McGregor on board could be tough. Yes, even if some folks accuse the brash champ of ducking Nurmagomedov.
At this point, however, a lot has to go down before a McGregor- Nurmagomedov bout is even in play.