Khabib Nurmagomedov reveals UFC 'working on Abu Dhabi in September' for Russian's next fight (VIDEO)
Nurmagomedov, who had his annual meet-and-greet session with students of Plekhanov Russian University of Economics on Tuesday, took time to answer questions from journalists after the event, including from RT Sport, about the rumors of a possible fight in Abu Dhabi in September.
"Yes, we are working on this," Nurmagomedov confirmed. "UFC told me that they are working on this. I just came back from Dubai. And very soon news is coming. Very soon," he added.
According to the UFC champ, the main stumbling block to finalize the deal is the suspensions of teammate and UFC featherweight Zubaira Tukgugov, and cousin Abubakar Nurmagomedov, who are both currently serving a one-year ban for their involvement in the infamous post-fight brawl with Conor McGregor and his team after the UFC 229 main event.
"[Tukgugov and Abubakar] either have to fight with me on the same event or before me, it is the main term of my comeback," he said.
It's a principal issue for me and I won't step back
The 30-year-old also confirmed that he will face the winner of Max Holloway v Dustin Poirier, who are set to face each other in the UFC 236 main event in Atlanta, Georgia, for the interim lightweight title.
"[Holloway and Poirier] are fighting for the interim belt, and the champion has to face the interim champion. Tony Ferguson can't fight at the moment, (Georges) St-Pierre is retired, McGregor is retired, a boxing match with Mayweather is not happening as we couldn't come to an agreement with UFC. Holloway and Poirier are great fighters, I will fight the winner of this bout."Also on rt.com 'Conor's like a jealous wife who leaves and then comes back': Khabib slams McGregor on retirement
When asked about which of the two fighters he would prefer to face, Nurmagomedov praised Holloway. The Russian was scheduled to fight current featherweight champion Holloway, but the bout was called off due to the American's ill health.
"Holloway has a 13-fight winning streak, if he beats Poirier it will be 14 wins in a row, which is the longest active winning streak in the UFC, if he wins he will also be a two weight champion. Fans would also be more interested in a Holloway fight," said Khabib, who himself boasts an 11-fight UFC winning streak and with 28 wins from 28 professional fights, possesses the longest unbeaten record in professional MMA.