If you’ve been following MMA news at all, you’ll be well aware of the craze following the punishments for Khabib from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The NSAC handed down some hefty fines for Khabib including a 9-month suspension and a $500,000 fine. This was all good and well for the fighter, but when the commission handed down a $25,000 fine and a year suspension for Khabib’s teammates who also played a part in the brawl at UFC229, he simply decided that he won’t be accepting it.
Instead, he made it known that he will not be taking part in any fights until his teammates are realised of their suspension.
As a major attraction for UFC, the self-exclusion of Khabib is not sitting well with Dana White as this would put major fights on hold. Understandably, Dana has made it clear that Khabib might not be able to hold onto the title for he does sit out. Up to now, Dana also claims that Khabib has not said anything about the self-exclusion in person.
Khabib Expecting Interim Fight for His Title
Even with the news that Dana White won’t accept his sitting out, Khabib doesn’t seem to have any interesting in fighting until team teammates Zubaira and Abubakar are relieved of their suspension.
In fact, he expects a fight between Ferguson and Poirier for the temporary title until he returns to UFC. This would mean he would have to take on the title holder at the time and see who gets to keep it.
With this news, it simply makes it as clear as daylight that we won’t see Khabib for most of 2019, regardless of what the UFC does. There are sure to be substantial line ups once the suspension is completed and Khabib is ready to fight again. The first fight would depend on how Dana White plans for the interim title, which would be an interesting fight if Tony Ferguson grabs hold of it.
Ferguson has been trying to get Khabib to fight against his for quite some time, but there always seems to be something getting in the way. Back in 2015, the fight was set to take place but was called off due to a rib injury Khabib obtained. Many other possibilities came up for them to meet in the octagon, but it just never seemed to happen.
Though it might seem 2019 might just be the year, it would be rather risky to put money on it as so many things could change by the that time. However, Tony seems keen on the fight and has been for the last few years. It would all depend on how things turn out, but it would certainly be a fight worth keeping an eye on.
In other Khabib news, we also see a significant money fight possibly happening his year as Mayweather shows interest in taking on the lightweight titleholder in 2019, but with Khabib sitting out, it might not happen.