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“The Ultimate Fighter” franchise could have been resurrected in a major way with Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor as coaches, but the reigning lightweight king turned that opportunity down, according to manager Ali Abdelaziz.
“Last week Dana White called me,” Abdelaziz told TMZ Sports. “He said, ‘Ali, what do you think if Khabib win, him and Conor do ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ on ESPN?’ This is breaking news. I said, ‘I don’t know. I’ll think about it.’ And he said, of course, [vice versa] if Justin win.
“It would be Khabib vs. Conor on The Ultimate Fighter, coaching. It would have been f—ing huge. Probably would have went to the hospital because he would have beat his ass and his whole team. Or Justin Gaethje vs. [McGregor].”
However, Abdelaziz claims that Nurmagomedov wasn’t interested in coaching opposite McGregor if he defeats Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 on Oct. 24. There remains the possibility that Gaethje could accept the fight with McGregor if he is victorious, however.
“I talked with Khabib yesterday,” Abelaziz said. “He said, ‘This man is human trash. He’s like garbage. When you touch s—t, you smell s—t.’ He said, ‘He doesn’t earn the fight. You understand? He doesn’t earn the fight.’
“Listen, if Justin wins, whatever, and he wants the easy payday, yeah, go ahead and fight Conor if you want. But I don’t know if even Conor still in the conversations because Justin said, ‘I gotta give him an opportunity,’ but he didn’t want the fight.”
McGregor made headlines recently for sharing a private conversation with UFC president Dana White regarding potential fight options for 2020. White was not pleased with that violation of trust, and not surprisingly, it didn’t sit well with Abdelaziz, either.
“First of all, you know, as a man, the golden rule is if you have a private conversation with another man, you should never put this online,” Abdelaziz said. “This is a complete – a made-bitch, you understand? This is like a real-life bitch, like I’ve always been saying for all these years. I have a lot of text messages about people I don’t like, but I will never put it out there because it’s not even right to put it out there – it’s wrong.
“Second of all, January 2020 – actually, December 2019, we wanted to fight Conor. Conor said he’s not ready yet. When [Gaethje] heard he wanted to fight in January, Justin Gaethje, he was higher ranked than [Donald] ‘Cowboy’ [Cerrone] by far, and he choose to fight Cowboy instead of Justin. Justin called him out on social media. Not one time we saw Conor respond to him.”
While McGregor’s loss to Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October 229 remains the promotion’s highest selling pay-per-view, it appears the Dagestani has no interest in running it back — no matter the circumstances and no matter how lucrative it might be.
“Hey, if he wants to do “The Ultimate Fighter “with Kamaru Usman, he can,” Abdelaziz said. “If he wants to do “The Ultimate Fighter “with Khamzat Chimaev, yes he can. If Justin choose to, that’s OK too.
“He can forget about Khabib. He can forget about the rematch. Done. Dead. Never. Khabib will never fight him.”
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