Khabib Nurmagomedov was very near to getting a UFC lightweight title shot before the huge announcement of UFC 205’s current headliner and expects to get the winner of that bout after. He does not care who he fights though, because he does not care how much attention his title fight gets, he just wants the title around his waist.
Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez is set to defend the title against featherweight champion Conor McGregor at UFC 205, and if Nurmagomedov can defeat Michael Johnson the same night, he will likely get the winner of the main event.
“I care about the belt,” Nurmagomedov told Champions.co (transcription via MMAjunkie). “I want to finish this fight and fight for the title. I don’t care who has the title, who wins (between Alvarez and McGregor). I don’t care about money.
“I know a lot of fighters fight for the money, but money is not everything for me. I know money is very important for life, but I have money. I never use MMA to make money. MMA for me is about my life, about my blood and about everything I do all my life. Money, I can make money with other stuff. I have money. I have everything. I need the belt.”
Nurmagomedov suspects he may have just been used as a tool to the get Alvarez-McGregor bout set up though when he was being offered the fight himself.
“First of all, UFC sent me two agreements for UFC 206 and UFC 205 – I signed both of them,” Nurmagomedov said. “Before that, UFC asked me to fight with him in October and August. Four times Alvarez didn’t take this fight. I feel the UFC a little bit used my name to make this fight, Alvarez vs. McGregor, because McGregor ask for some money, Alvarez ask for some money, that’s why this fight is not happening. Then UFC put my name and send me two contracts, two agreements.
“McGregor understands, ‘Wow, this guy can beat Alvarez.’ He can put new rules. Alvarez understands I cannot take an easy fight like McGregor. I think both of them are a little bit scared. That’s why this fight happened. But first of all UFC use my name.”