Conor McGregor has added the lightweight belt to his featherweight title in the UFC, and there is no shortage of challengers. Many want to see him defend the 155lb strap against Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Someone has pored over Conor McGregor’s Twitter account and unearthed this gem from September 2014.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 9, 2014
So despite things turning a little nasty lately as the two appear destined to lock horns after their respective dominant victories at UFC 205, this is a nice little reminder that any animosity which may appear over the coming months is likely just artificial.
It certainly seems to have been that way between McGregor and Eddie Alvarez as there has been no bitterness on either side in the wake of Saturday night. Instead, each man has been keen to show their respect and admiration for one another.
Nurmagomedov and McGregor now appear to be circling the wagons for setting up a battle of their own. It would perhaps be harsh on Tony Ferguson, who is riding an impressive nine fight win streak, but the hype seems to be trending more towards the Russian being McGregor’s first lightweight title defence.
You Don't have to love me but you need to respect me. 24-0. Conor I know you are loosing sleep already @danawhite
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) November 15, 2016
Online chatter has been abuzz of a potential bout between the two ever since Nurmagomedov’s fiery challenge to the ‘chicken’ after his ground and pound-laden demolition of Michael Johnson.
If Nurmagomedov does indeed secure the right to be McGregor’s first challenger, it should serve as a warning to ‘El Cucuy’ Ferguson that for as much as your in-fight performance counts in securing a title shot, you really should not pass up the golden opportunity post-fight when one of Joe Rogan, Brian Stann or Jon Anik pass you that microphone.
After his recent scalp of former champion Rafael Dos Anjos, which was very impressive on its own, Ferguson gave the briefest and blandest of post-fight interviews. After thanking his opponent and saluting his supporters he simply said, ‘that’s it, I’m done’ and walked away. For as silly as it may sound, he would have been a lot better off dropping a few F-bombs and demanding the winner of McGregor-Alvarez.
It worked for Nate Diaz, it appears to be working for Khabib Nurmagomedov and even other soft-spoken fighters seem to have recognised it as a necessary part of the game. Gegard Mousassi has recently acknowledged that he is lashing out far more nowadays because it is the only way to really get people’s attention.
Count Nurmagomedov as one more who has recognised this recent trend in the UFC. You can probably expect more Twitter messages from him to be sent McGregor’s way over the coming months but this time with him looking for a fight rather than a t-shirt.