UFC Lightweight Champ Khabib Nurmagomedov: Winner of Alvarez-Poirier Deserves Title Shot

Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC Calgary UFC 229 Conor McGregor
Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

Khabib Nurmagomedov may have a date pending with Conor McGregor, but the UFC’s 155lb champ admits the winner of Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier would be a more deserving challenger.

Calgary, AB — UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was on hand at the Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta on Friday, ahead of the UFC on FOX 30 ceremonial weigh-ins. There, he took questions from fans at the arena, discussing everything from wrestling bears to, of course, Conor McGregor. The McGregor questions were, frankly, predictable, bordering on silly at times. Eventually, Khabib was asked if Conor should fear jail, or being locked in the cage with Nurmagomedov for twenty-five minutes.

You can imagine the answer.

However, one timely admission was who ‘The Eagle’ feels is deserving of a shot against him next. And it just so happens to be the winner of tomorrow night’s main event bout between Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier.

“If you watch Conor [McGregor’s last] four fights, he’s 2-2. Last two years he didn’t fight,” Nurmagomedov pointed out. “He doesn’t deserve a title shot. Of course, we know it’s a money fight.”

About who deserves a title fight? The champion went down the list.

“If we’re talking about Kevin Lee, he [joined the] top ten a month ago. He don’t deserve a title shot,” he began. “If we’re talking about Tony Ferguson, when I have injury last time, the UFC told me ‘hey you have to deserve the next title shot,’ and they gave me a top opponent. I fight, come back, fight for the title, win title.” In Khabib Nurmagomedov’s eyes, ‘El Cucuy’ needs to do the same.

“Tony Ferguson injured, please come back and fight one more fight,” Khabib continued. “It’s lose for everybody, not only for me.”

However, the winner at UFC Calgary? “If we’re talking about Eddie Alvarez and Poirier, I think winner, winner of Alvarez-Poirier deserves title shot, without Conor,” Nurmagomedov stated. But added that “we know the UFC makes the decision.”

So more than likely McGregor, then. “If they give me winner of Poirier-Alvarez or other guys, it doesn’t matter. I’m going to fight,” Nurmagomedov added. During the chat, he’d pick Dustin Poirier to win the fight, but admitted it was a close match-up.


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