Ali Abdelaziz, who manages both Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje, has said that he wouldn’t prevent a matchup between the two lightweights.
If Gaethje beats Tony Ferguson on May 9th, he will become the UFC interim lightweight champion. And doing so, would set up a unification bout with the lightweight champion, Khabib.
Speaking to MMA Junkie, Abdelaziz discussed a potential lightweight title fight between his clients, Khabib and Gaethje.
“You saw what happened when Henry Cejudo fought Marlon Moraes before. If Gaethje is going to be interim champion, he’s going to fight Khabib for the undisputed lightweight championship. These guys work all their lives to become a champion. Who am I to step in the way to making that happen?
“I know Tony Ferguson had a problem before with having the same management as Conor McGregor, but that’s not how I do business. I don’t think it’s fair for a manager or a promoter to stop a guy from having his dreams come true of becoming the undisputed UFC champion. If Justin wins, it’s a fair fight. Him and Khabib will fight.”
Khabib was scheduled to defend his title against Ferguson at UFC 249 but after he got stuck in Russia due to the travel restrictions put in place because of the coronavirus, the UFC brought Gaethje in as a late notice replacement. The card would later be postponed and Tony and Justin are now expected to headline the UFC’s return on May 9th.
The unbeaten Khabib begins Ramadan this week, meaning that he won’t be able to fight for four or five months. Abdelaziz believes that he will return either in August or September.
“I think he can be back in August. He told me originally the UFC had scheduled a San Francisco fight, I think it was August 1st. He can fight there, it’s no problem. It doesn’t have to be September. But, as you know, in September they always have this Abu Dhabi card and I’m sure the UFC wants him to fight there.”
Who do you think will win on May 9th and set up a UFC lightweight unification bout with Khabib Nurmagamedov, Tony Ferguson or Justin Gaethje?