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What’s Next For Khabib After UFC 229? Conor Rematch?

Dana White stands between Conor and Khabib at the staredown.
Dana White stands between Conor and Khabib at the staredown. Photo By Fight King (Youtube)
  • UFC 229 was an amazing event, but it will be remembered for what took place outside of the octagon rather than in it
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov submitted Conor McGregor and remains the lightweight champion, though his actions after the fight may cost him dearly
  • What’s next for Khabib: a rematch or a suspension?

Conor McGregor did not pull any punches when it came to trashing Khabib Nurmagomedov. He mocked his father, insulted his religion, and accused his trainer of being a terrorist.

The Dagestani had few words for his opponent. Instead, he responded on fight night.

After mauling McGregor for four rounds and winning by submission, Khabib leapt over the cage and took the fight to Conor’s corner. The fighting he did inside the octagon was sanctioned sport; what he did outside was criminal assault.

Now he needs to deal with the fallout. Nevada State Athletic Commission will likely fine and suspend him, and the UFC is considering stripping him of his lightweight title. If he’s charged with assault, he may not be granted a visa to fight in the US ever again.

What’s next for Khabib Nurmagomedov?

Nurmagomedov vs McGregor 2?

Prop Odds
Odds Khabib v McGregor 2 Takes Place Before Year-End 2019 2/1
Rematch Winner Odds
Khabib Nurmagomedov -275
Conor McGregor +215

When McGregor lost to Nate Diaz back at UFC 196, he demanded an immediate rematch under the same conditions. Notorious has hinted that he’ll take same approach to Khabib. If he wants an immediate rematch to avenge his loss, the UFC won’t stand in the way.

But does Conor actually want a rematch?

The first Diaz fight had quite a few moments where McGregor was clearly the dominant fighter. The fight against Khabib was a wash. Khabib dominated Conor on the ground, which was expected, but shockingly also won the striking battle.

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I’ll be back.

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McGregor landed some heavy left hands to little effect. There were questions regarding Khabib’s chin before the fight, but we now have a clear answer. The man can handle whatever McGregor throws his way.

So what chance does Conor have in a rematch?

There doesn’t seem like there are any adjustments he could make to improve his chances in a second fight. He’ll never have the cardio to match Khabib and his ground game will always be sub-par. His take-down defense is already stellar, but it wasn’t enough to deter The Eagle.

The line opened with Khabib as the wide favorite for the rematch. It’s perhaps how the odds should have looked all along.

What’s Next For Khabib Nurmagomedov?

Odds on Khabib’s Next Opponent  Odds
Conor McGregor 3/2
Tony Ferguson 3/2
Kevin Lee 10/1
Tyron Woodley 30/1

The future of the lightweight champion lies in the hands of the NSAC, the UFC, and possibly the courts.

NSAC is withholding Khabib’s $2 million paycheck and may come down with a lengthy suspension. The UFC could decide to strip Khabib of his title. And if Khabib is charged with assault, he may have his US Visa revoked.

If allowed to fight, there are only two names to really consider: Conor McGregor and Tony Ferguson.

Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson has been scheduled four times in the past, and each time the fight was derailed by injury or medical emergency. Now that Khabib is champ and Ferguson is clearly the top contender (and former interim champ), Dana White needs to consider signing the fight for a fifth time.

Kevin Lee is a name to follow in the lightweight division, but he probably needs another win or two before being granted another title shot. We should expect this fight some time in the future.

What’s Next for Conor McGregor?

Odds on Conor’s Next Opponent  Odds
Khabib Nurmagomedov 7/3
Nate Diaz 7/3
Tony Ferguson 4/1
Floyd Mayweather 20/1

Despite the crushing defeat, McGregor remains the biggest star in the UFC. There are still quite a few lucrative fights for him to consider.

The obvious is the rematch against Khabib. After the post-fight debauchery, the stage is already set for a blockbuster sequel.

There’s also the trilogy fight with Nate Diaz. The second fight still holds the UFC pay-per-view record (the UFC 229 numbers haven’t been confirmed yet), and the trilogy will probably do even better. Diaz has an upcoming fight next month, but win or lose, McGregor vs Diaz 3 will be in high demand.

If Khabib is suspended and the UFC strips him of the lightweight title, McGregor vs Ferguson could be signed for the vacated strap. Tony Ferguson deserves a title shot and a fight against McGregor would guarantee him an enormous payday.

Then there’s Floyd Mayweather. The potential for another couple hundred million dollars still exists, so we can never rule out a rematch.

Dillon Danis in the UFC?

Prop  Odds
Odds Dillon Danis Signs A UFC Contract By 2020 4/1

Who is Dillon Danis?

Before Saturday, he was best known as one of McGregor’s sparring partners and henchmen. Now he’s best known as the guy on the receiving end of Khabib’s post-fight freakout.

But Danis is a talented fighter in his own right. The 25-year-old is a former World No-Gi BJJ champion and a Bellator fighter. He’s only had one professional MMA fight, which he won in spectacular fashion, so he’s still very much an unknown quantity.

This is the entertainment business, so if he racks up a decent record at Bellator, the UFC will probably sign him up and throw him against one of Khabib’s Dagestani pals.

Odds on Khabib’s Punishment

Prop  Odds
Odds Khabib is suspended by the UFC 1/2
Over/Under on duration of suspension 8.5 months
Over/Under on Khabib’s fine $350,000
Odds Khabib is barred from re-entering the US 20/1

Khabib will definitely receive some kind of fine and will likely also be suspended. There’s no way his actions will go completely unpunished. The question is, how tough will the commission and UFC be?

Tyson ended up serving a 12-month suspension after the Holyfield incident, and was slapped with a $3 million fine (10% of his purse). If we use that as a benchmark, then Khabib’s punishment needs to be less than that. Attacking a cornerman is bad, but it doesn’t compare to biting a chunk out of your opponent’s ear.

The fears of Khabib having his visa revoked seem to be a little exaggerated. If McGregor still carries his visa after attacking a bus with a dolly and seriously injuring two fighters, then Khabib should be fine.

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