Latest comments suggest Khabib vs. McGregor rematch will go ahead in 2019
What more does Tony Ferguson have to do to get a crack at the undisputed UFC lightweight title?
Ferguson has gone 11 fights undefeated but apparently, 'El Cucuy' will have to wait for a shot at Khabib Nurmagomedov.
It remains to be seen when Nurmagomedov will next take to the Octagon as he is set to be suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his role in the UFC 229 post-fight melee.
Unless the NSAC throws the book at the unbeaten Russian, Nurmagomedov should be able to return at some point in 2019 and despite the dominant nature of his victory over Conor McGregor in October, 'The Eagle' looks destined to meet his Irish rival again this year.
"Yeah, I do!" UFC president Dana White answered when asked by TMZ if he anticipated Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor II taking place in the next 12 months.
"Obviously guys are going to have to win and it depends on how long the suspensions are but as long as everything goes right, this fight should happen."
There's no denying that on merit, Ferguson deserves the next title shot but money talks in the fight game and McGregor remains the biggest draw in any weight division in the UFC.
Nurmagomedov's manager has admitted that the Dagestani is now pursuing bouts that will help set him up for a healthy retirement rather than fights that make the most sense on paper.
When asked what's next for his most high-profile client, Ali Abdelaziz told MMA Fighting: "The biggest money fight he can make.
"At the end of the day, Khabib doesn’t need to fight anybody else for his legacy. He’s done what he’s done. He’s 27-0, he’s 12-0 in the UFC, he’s never been dropped, he’s never been caught, he’s never been knocked down. Let’s talk about a GOAT. No PEDs. We talk about the greatest of all-time, I think that he should be on top of the list, because he never lost to anybody. He’s never lost, he’s never been dropped, he’s never been stitched, nothing.
"So [we want] the biggest money fight he can make. Boxing, MMA, whatever. I love Tony Ferguson— he’s not that, I can tell you that.
"One-hundred percent, Tony Ferguson is not the next fight, because Tony Ferguson — I need somebody who can sell pay-per-views.
"At the end of the day, it will be the exact same situation. Khabib was supposed to fight Eddie Alvarez, remember that? When he got taken out [in place of Conor McGregor], we understood it because Conor’s going to bring pay-per-views. We need people who can help us sell pay-per-views, and that’s it."