Current undisputed UFC world lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently serving a suspension he gained following his successful first title defense over Conor McGregor in October 2018 at UFC 229. However, that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t been keeping busy in his spare time while watching over his division.
Following the scuffle that unfolded after his fight, ‘The Eagle’ is now looking at a September return which will presumably see him face the new interim champion, Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier.
“Poirier won a temporary belt. Temporary,” Nurmagomedov said in a fan Q&A at an M-1 Apeha event. “I have a real one. The only thing that attracts me in this battle is the new belt. It’s pretty. And the rival is a very good one, we cannot underestimate him, he defeated many top fighters. In the UFC they say that I will fight Poirer in a little more than five months. It is difficult to negotiate with me, I am with my principles. I hope the negotiations will go well and in September we will fight.”
While Poirier has been preparing for and then defeating featherweight champion Max Holloway, the American Kickboxing Acadamy staple in Nurmagomedov has been shifting his focus onto opening up some of his very own training facilities around the world.
“I just started to [open] financial opportunities,” Nurmagomedov said. “Now we are building a gym in Dagestan and are also working on a gym in Moscow. We are also working on a project to open Khabib Gym around the world. We have a project in London, Jeddah [Saudi Arabia], Oman, Dubai, Istanbul. I think at the end of next year I will have 15-20 gyms in Russia and around the world. This is a business that I want to open in this area.”
As for the Poirier unification bout, Nurmagomedov says that they’re working on a September 7 date for the fight to take place somewhere in America. If not, then it will be Abu Dhabi. His teammate who is also suspended, Zubaira Tukhugov is looking to get on the card as well.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/18/2019