Ali Abdelaziz will cash in on his hard work when Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje face each other at UFC 253. Both fighters compete under his banner and will battle it out to unify the lightweight belt in September. His company, Dominance MMA, also manage welterweight giants Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns, who are set to face off at UFC 251, July 11th on ‘Fight Island’.
With two title fights booked using solely Abdelaziz managed athletes, the Egyptian businessman has positioned himself as one of the most powerful figures in the sports history. He is also well know for his on-going criticism of Conor McGregor.
Khabib easily negated McGregor’s mythical striking abilities at UFC 229 in 2018, defending his 155lbs title at UFC 229. This matchup involved a barrage of trash talk from both camps and began the long Twitter feud between Ali and Conor.
McGregor announced his retirement from the sport just minutes after Amanda Nunes shutdown Felicia Spencer at UFC 250.
This move was heavily criticised by many as it detracted from the success of MMA’s most successful female athlete. Abdelaziz has now told TMZ Sports (transcribed by MMA Mania) that McGregor should stop complaining about the current situation and remain active if he wants to pursue a bout with either of his champions.
“Right now, he’s on punishment for his bad behavior. Right now, he needs to sit down. Go fight Tony Ferguson, stay busy, stay active. Go fight Jorge Masvidal. Stay active, I want to see activity. Remember, he used to say that to all of us? Guess what? Payback is a bitch.
“Same old prostitute, he want attention. He robbed poor Amanda Nunes out of her moment. Stop it.”
Abdelaziz went on to explain that he and his fighters hold the cards now. A statement which was backed up by Gaethje, with his claim that McGregor has lost his value among fellow competitors due to his out of the cage antics.
“A lot of good business done is off Conor. But UFC doesn’t stop without Conor, we don’t stop without Conor. Will Khabib fight him? He can forget about it. I don’t think Khabib will fight him. Will Gaethje fight him? I don’t know. Maybe. But at the end of the day, I would like to see Conor fight one more fight before he gets a title shot. I would like to see him fight Tony Ferguson. I think that’s the fight a lot of people … it’s a good fight. They have histories, and I think they should fight to see who is the number one contender.”
With the featherweight, lightweight and welterweight title fights all booked, McGregor would have to return and fight a contender such as Ferguson, if he wishes to challenge for a UFC belt this year.
Who do you think could draw Conor McGregor out of retirement?