UFC 242: Khabib Nurmagomedov lays out future fight plans and they don't include Conor McGregor

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Khabib Nurmagomedov

Khabib Nurmagomedov has laid out his UFC career plans, and they do not include a certain Conor McGregor.

The Muslim fighter was speaking in London during a promotional event for his UFC 242 main event in Abu Dhabi as the 30-year-old prepares to defend his lightweight belt against interim champ Dustin Poirier on September 7.

Nurmagomedov returns to the Octagon for the first time since submitting McGregor via a fourth-round neck crank at UFC 229 last October.

The post-fight melee saw the Dagestan-native fined and suspended but he will be free to fight again from next month.

And the unbeaten Nurmagomedov plans to take out Poirier before completing unfinished business with lightweight contender Tony Ferguson, and then tempt the legendary Georges St-Pierre out of retirement.

“The last three years he only have one victory in amateur boxing, how [does] he deserve rematch?” Nurmagomedov said about McGregor. “He tapped. He begged me ‘please, don’t kill me’ and he talks about rematch. Tony Ferguson on the line. People who have win streak are on the line but not the guy who don’t win nothing the last three years.

“I have a lot of work without him. Right now, I’m focused on September 7.”

He added: “Honestly, I don’t know if he [GSP] will come back. If I wanna make my legacy big, I have to beat Ferguson and GSP, then I can become pound-for-pound number one.”

The winner of the UFC 242 main event is expected to face Ferguson after he stretched his unbeaten streak to 12 thanks to a victory over Donald Cerrone at UFC 238 last weekend.

Nurmagomedov has been scheduled to take on Ferguson numerous times with the contest collapsing for various reasons from both sides.

“He deserves a title shot in my opinion but when the UFC asked him to fight Max Holloway, he don’t take this fight,” Nurmagomedov said about Ferguson. “The problem right now is because of him. I don’t know why he don’t take this fight but he take regular fight with “Cowboy” [Donald Cerrone]. I don’t understand this.

“I don’t want to underestimate my opponent in Dustin. He’s a tough challenge for me. Right now I don’t want to think about other opponents. I have to focus on my opponent.”

The card marks the second time the promotion has brought a pay-per-view event to Abu Dhabi after hosting UFC 112 back in 2010.

The UFC did return to the Emirates in 2014 for a smaller Fight Night card, but September promises to be the biggest MMA event ever held in the region.

“It’s going to be a very big and very good show for everybody who’s going to fight in Abu Dhabi,” Nurmagomedov explained.

“My father can come to Abu Dhabi; he can’t get a visa for America so he’s going to be in my corner for the first time in UFC.

“In Abu Dhabi a lot of friends from Russia can come… so it’s going to be a good show: for me, my family, my team and I’ve very excited for this. I can’t wait.”

Khabib Nurmagomedov with his father Abdulmanap

Khabib Nurmagomedov with his father Abdulmanap

UFC 242 will signpost the beginning of a five-year partnership agreed in April with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi).

That deal earmarks championship fights taking place in the capital until 2024 with Nurmagomedov and Poirier headlining the card which takes place at The Arena on Yas Island.

Poirier, who attained interim status after impressively defeating featherweight champ Holloway at UFC 236 in April, believes the landmark event will be the scene of an upset.

Asked what it will take to defeat the unbeaten Russian he said: “Experience, self-belief, my mindset, I’m focused on making history.

“I don’t need to find huge holes [in his game], the guy’s good, he’s the world champ, but I’m going to make things happen and bring him to places he’s never been to.

“I’ve learned I can count on myself. Adversity introduces a man to himself, I’m well acquainted and I’m ready to rock.”

Tickets went on sale for UFC 242 last Friday and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com

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