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Khabib thinks UFC will create interim title in his absence, guesses the opponents

Khabib Nurmagomedov won’t fight for a while, so he thinks the UFC will move the division along with an interim title. And he has two combatants in mind to compete for the belt.

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MMA: UFC 229-Nurmagomedov vs McGregor Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Khabib Nurmagomedov hasn’t been shy about voicing his displeasure with the UFC, the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and just about everyone else that may have played a part in his current suspension.

The current lightweight champion is shelved until July 6th after his actions at UFC 229 cost him $500,000 and the time off. He could have returned in April, but he made it clear that he was turning down a shorter suspension in exchange for filming an anti-bullying public service announcement for the commission. The reason? The very people suspending him, NSAC, work for a state “where they allow drugs, prostitution and gambling.”

So, that leaves the UFC in a quandary. Despite them letting many champions skate for a long time without defending in the past, that has not been the case in the last year or two. In an interview with Russian outlet Sportbox, Nurmagomedov said that he believes they will create another 155-pound title while he’s out. And he thinks he knows who could fight for it (translation via RT Sport):

“I think that they will create an interim title. It could be between Poirier and Ferguson. Whoever wins will become the interim champion, and then at the end of the year we will fight for the real belt.

“I think that could happen. At the moment I don’t know for sure.”

That would leave Conor McGregor out in the cold. Then again, he’s suspended until at least April as well.