There seems to be no shortage of contenders for Khabib Nurmagomedov’s first lightweight title defense. While “The Eagle” doesn’t have a preference in opponent, he does have a general timeframe in mind for his Octagon return.
In an Instagram post on Sunday, the Nurmagomedov mentioned Conor McGregor, Tony Ferguson, Dustin Poirier, Kevin Lee and Eddie Alvarez as possible matchups. The Dagestani grappler would be willing to face any of the above at the end of 2018.
“Lightweight division is the most competitive division in UFC,” Nurmagomedov wrote. “At this moment, atmosphere is very heated: there is Conor and Tony, Poirier, Lee and Alvarez, all of them are good. Fight with any of these guys would be very interesting and competitive.
“I never choose opponent, fought with any fighter who was offered me to fight, and I’m not going to change that. I’m coming back November/December to defend my belt. Whoever UFC decide to fight me with, I’ll sign.”
Nurmagomedov captured lightweight gold with a dominant five-round verdict over Al Iaquinta in the UFC 223 headliner on April 7. He was originally booked to face Ferguson before “El Cucuy” suffered a knee injury less than a week before the bout. Then, a short-notice clash with featherweight king Max Holloway fell through when Holloway was deemed medically unfit to compete a day before the event.
McGregor could be the most lucrative matchup of all, but he is facing multiple charges stemming from an attack on a charter bus carrying fighters and promotion employees ahead of UFC 223. The Irishman held the lightweight belt before Nurmagomedov but was stripped of the title due to inactivity.
Meanwhile, Poirier, Lee and Alvarez are all coming off impressive victories in their most recent UFC appearances.
Lightweight division is the most competitive division in #UFC At this moment, atmosphere is very heated: there is Conor and Tony, Porier, Lee and Alvarez, all of them are good. Fight with any of these guys would be very interesting and competitive. I never choose opponent, fought with any fighter who was offered me to fight, and I’m not going to change that. I’m coming back November - December to defend my belt. Whoever @ufc decide to fight me with, I’ll sign. ❗️ Лёгкий дивизион всегда был самым конкурентным в #ufc В данный момент ситуация очень накалённая, есть Конор, есть Тони, есть Порье, Ли и Альварез, каждый из них хорош по своему. С любым из них получится хороший, конкурентный бой. Я никогда не выбирал себе соперников, дрался с теми кого мне предлагали и сейчас тем более не собираюсь выбирать соперника. Я собираюсь вернуться в ноябре или в декабре ИншаАллагь. Какое решение #ufc примет то и приму. #bigdramashow #ufclightweight #mma #ufc #победатолькоотВсевышнего #inshaaAllah