Khabib: “I’m About 80% Sure My Next Fight Will Be In Russia”
At UFC 242, Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Dustin Poirier, to take his professional record to 28-0. And in submitting Poirier in the third round, successfully defended his UFC lightweight title.
Having defended his title against the interim champion at UFC 242, in front of a largely Muslim crowd, Khabib wants his next title defence to be in front of his home fans in Russia. Speaking to Russia’s Channel 1 (as transcribed by MMA News) Khabib outlined the possibilities of fighting in Russia, next time he steps foot inside the Octagon.
“Negotiations are continuing with the UFC. I really want to fight in Russia. In St. Petersburg there’s a closed arena [Gazprom Arena]. In Moscow, Luzhniki Stadium is open… I was there at the [football] World Cup final when it rained, if that kind of rain happened it would ruin an [MMA] event. In St. Petersburg the stadium seats 75,000 people, I could fight there. In a small arena it wouldn’t work.”
Khabib is so confident that his next fight will take place in Russia, that he predicted an eighty percent chance that he’ll fight at home next.
“I really want to fight here, talks are continuing, I’m about eighty percent sure my next fight will be in Russia.”
UFC president Dana White has confirmed that Tony Ferguson is next in line to challenge Khabib for the lightweight title. Earlier this week, Ferguson challenged Khabib to fight at UFC 245, UFC’s last pay-per-view card of the year. With UFC 245 going down in Las Vegas though, it is unlikely that Khabib will accept the challenge. The 31 year old has stated that he will never fight in Las Vegas again, following the punishment he and his teammates received as a result in their parts in the UFC 229 brawl.
A meeting between the top two lightweight in the UFC division is more likely to happen in early 2020. One man who is probably be licking his lips at the thought of challenging Khabib in Russia, is Conor McGregor. The Irishman has stated that not only does he want to fight Khabib again, but also that he would love the whole ‘Rocky 4’ scenario of going to Russia to challenge the Dagestani.
Where do you think Khabib should fight next?