Nurmagomedov moving past Conor McGregor, ready to defend his belt against Tony Ferguson
Khabib Nurmagomedov issued a challenge to Conor McGregor but never heard back from the lightweight champion, so he’s moving on.
The undefeated Russian contender sent McGregor a message on Twitter just recently challenging him to a fight, but days later he’s still waiting on a response.
Article continues below ...
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) November 23, 2016
Now it appears Nurmagomedov is no longer willing to wait.
In a statement sent to FOX Sports from Nurmagomedov via his manager Ali Abdel-Aziz, the 24-0 lightweight says that he’s moving past McGregor to focus on the real No. 1 contender in the division, Tony Ferguson.
Ferguson is currently riding a nine-fight win streak in the division, including a victory over former champion Rafael dos Anjos in his most recent bout in November.
As part of his statement, Nurmagomedov also declared himself the true undisputed champion at 155-pounds and says he’s looking forward to defending his belt against Ferguson in 2017.
"Conor is old news. Tony Ferguson deserves the shot more than Conor," Nurmagomedov said in the statement. "He’s on a longer winning streak. Conor is 2-1 in his last three fights. I’m done talking about Conor. I’m 24-0. I’m ready to defend my undisputed championship against Tony Ferguson.
"I don’t care about Conor. I care about the belt."
Nurmagomedov has spent the better part of two weeks trying to goad a response out of McGregor after he smashed Michael Johnson at UFC 205 and called out the Irishman to put the belt on the line against him.
In response at the post-fight press conference, McGregor said he wasn’t all that interested in a fight with Nurmagomedov while calling him a "pull-out merchant" after the Russian was forced to withdraw from several bouts while dealing with injuries.
Nurmagomedov didn’t take too kindly to that insult while going on a campaign to get the title shot he was promised before McGregor faced Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205.
Now it seems Nurmagomedov is resigned to move on from McGregor and focus on a new challenge in 2017 instead.