Ali Abdelaziz, manager of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, says that the upcoming McGregor vs. Poirier fight must take place at 155lbs if the winner wants to be considered as a potential future opponent for Khabib.
The specifics of the proposed January 23 rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier have yet to be revealed, but speculation persists that the fight may take place at a weight of 170 pounds instead of the lightweight division in which both men are considered top contenders.
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However, McGregor has recently displayed a preference for fighting at a more natural weight and eliminating the need for a significant weight cut, as he did in his last octagon appearance against Donald Cerrone last January.
However, Abdelaziz says that if the two fighters don’t want to cut weight then they can’t be considered as contenders in the lightweight division.
To be #1 contender in 155 you have to make weight and not fight at 170
It’s not fair for other guys like Tony , Hooker , Makhachev , Beneil , they always make weight
If Dustin VS Conor will be at 170 I can guarantee you it won’t be #1 contender match. Somebody will get a shot
— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) October 17, 2020
“To be #1 contender in 155 you have to make weight and not fight at 170,” Abdelaziz wrote on Twitter.
“It’s not fair for other guys like Tony [Ferguson], [Dan] Hooker, [Islam] Makhachev, Beneil [Dariush], they always make weight. If Dustin VS Conor will be at 170 I can guarantee you it won’t be #1 contender match. Somebody will get a shot.”
Abdelaziz’s stance comes amid renewed speculation that the UFC has begun positioning itself to arrange what would be a highly-lucrative rematch between McGregor and Nurmagomedov.
UFC boss Dana White revealed in recent days that he was close to completing a deal for both rivals to coach opposite each other on “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series before the Russian champion withdrew from negotiations citing social media posts authored by McGregor as the reason.
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Neither McGregor nor Poirier have ever missed weight in the UFC. Nurmagomedov has done so once, in advance of his fight with Abel Trujilo several years ago.
McGregor and several members of his camp have spoken out on several occasions about the negative impacts of weight-cutting, with SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh frequently vocal about the issue.