Khabib's manager says 'Notorious' must beat Gaethje to earn rematch

‘If Khabib wins on April 18, Conor McGregor is not getting a title shot – simple’: Nurmagomedov’s manager insists ‘Notorious’ must beat Justin Gaethje to earn rematch with Russian

  • Conor McGregor must beat Justin Gaethje to face Khabib Nurmagomedov 
  • The Russian’s manager Ali Abdelaziz insists the ‘Notorious’ must earn his place
  • Lightweight champion Nurmagomedov faces Tony Ferguson in title defence 

Conor McGregor will not get a shot at facing UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov until the Irishman beats Justin Gaethje, according to the Russian and American pair’s manager.

31-year-old Nurmagomedov is set to defend his 155-pound title next month in a tough test against American Tony Ferguson and UFC president Dana White has strongly suggested a rematch between the champion and McGregor could be next up.

But Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz says ‘The Notorious’ must prove his worth before getting another shot at the unbeaten Russian, by beating his fellow client Gaethje who is seemingly next in line according to UFC rankings.  

Conor McGregor has been told he must beat Justin Gaethje to face Khabib Nurmagomedov

The Russian and American’s manager Ali Abdelaziz says the ‘Notorious’ must earn his shot

‘If Khabib wins on April 18, Conor McGregor is not getting a title shot – simple,’ Abdelaziz told ESPN.

‘Dana White is the best promoter of all time because he understands fighting and matchmaking. The only way Conor McGregor can fight for a title is if he beats someone like Justin Gaethje.

‘If he were to do that, it would be hard to deny him.’    

Talks of a rematch between Nurmagomedov and McGregor have been high on the agenda ever since the former submitted the latter in 2018 in a clash that left plenty of bad blood amongst the two camps and what was reportedly the highest-selling par-per-view in UFC history.

The Notorious was strongly beaten by Nurmagomedov in a 2018 defeat by submission

McGregor took 15 months to return to action after that damaging defeat but came back in style as he recorded a 40-second knock-out of Donald Cerrone in January. 

American Gaethje, who boasts a record of 21-2-0, backed the claims of his manager as he said: ‘I think I put myself in a great position to fight for a world title, to try to be the best in the world.

‘If Conor wants to go past me, he has to go through me.

‘I think that’s the only way to legitimise the process and make it right. I think that’s the fight.’

The date rumoured for McGregor’s next fight will be at UFC 252 on July 11 in Las Vegas. 

American Justin Gaethje stands in the way of McGregor earning a rematch, says Abdelaziz

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