Khabib Nurmagomedov's manager claims Conor McGregor's next fight is already sorted
We're glad we put this picture together now...
Conor McGregor has fight offers coming out of his ears at this stage.
The UFC lightweight champion and, in his mind, featherweight champion is taking some time off to enjoy the fruits of his fighting labours. His partner, Dee Devlin, is expecting the couple's first child next summer but McGregor could yet make a fighting return if he gets the right offer.
It seems unlikely we will see McGregor at 145lbs again for a while but many fans hold to him being the true featherweight champion. In the lightweight division, a No.1 contender deal between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson is all but done.
And then there is the welterweight division, where McGregor split two fights with Nate Diaz in 2016.
Current 170lbs champion Tyron Woodley initially advised 'The Notorious' to steer clear but he admits he would be tempted by the pay-day. In a recent vlog, Woodley declared he would take on McGregor anywhere just to set the record straight:
"We can do it in Ireland, Dublin, we can do it in the back of White Castle [fast food outlet], I don’t care."
That may not be an empty threat if we are to go by the latest comments from Ali Abdel-Aziz, manager to Nurmagomedov. During an interview with MMA Junkie Radio, Abdel-Aziz claimed McGregor was set for another trip to the welterweight division. He said:
"Let me make a prediction: McGregor’s next fight is going to be Tyron Woodley for the welterweight title.
"This is the fight that’s going to happen. Every sign is this is going to happen."
Abdel-Aziz also believes the reason McGregor will not ask for too much money for his next fight is because of the spectre of Nurmagomedov.
"Now, Khabib has become the boogeyman the UFC uses for leverage in negotiations," he declared. "I’m okay with that."
Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson for an interim lightweight belt while McGregor packs off for the welterweight division. It would be an odd concession by the UFC but nothing regarding McGregor's career arc is normal.
As for Croke Park, we can but dream.