Khabib Eyes Home For Next Title Defense

Following his return to the Octagon in Abu Dhabi at UFC 242, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is hoping to headline a card in his native Russia and fight there for the first time in nearly a decade.

“Negotiations are continuing with the UFC. I really want to fight in Russia,” Nurmagomedov said in an interview with Channel 1.

“In St. Petersburg there’s a closed arena [Gazprom Arena]. In Moscow, Luzhniki Stadium is open… I was there at the [football] World Cup final when it rained, if that kind of rain happened it would ruin an [MMA] event. In St. Petersburg the stadium seats 75,000 people, I could fight there. In a small arena it wouldn’t work.”

With the most likely option being a long-awaited fight with former interim champion Tony Ferguson, Nurmagomedov has been interested in facing off with former welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre, something his agent Ali Abdelaziz has been demanding be his client’s next fight.

Either way, Khabib says it is looking good for his return to Russia and fighting there for the first time since signing with the Endeavor owned organization.

“I really want to fight here, talks are continuing, I’m about 80 percent sure my next fight will be in Russia,” Nurmagomedov said.

Report: Bloody Elbow

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