Chael Sonnen thinks Khabib Nurmagomedov pulling out of UFC 209 has ‘long term effects’ for him and the title picture.
Khabib Nurmagomedov had a disastrous weight cut that forced him out of his interim title bout against Tony Ferguson. Apart from losing a half a million dollar payday from UFC 209, Chael Sonnen believes he also lost out on an even bigger money fight against Conor McGregor.
According to the UFC contender turned analyst, Khabib was being groomed to be a breakthrough star, and losing out on UFC 209 means that title fight now likely goes to Nate Diaz instead.
“This caused Khabib Nurmagomedov long term effects,” Sonnen said on ESPN. “I’ll tell you the politics here. Dana White comes back from Russia, announces that he has a new TV deal. 48 hours later, he announces that the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson will be taking on Conor McGregor.
“You don’t need to put on your Colombo rain jacket to realize, Conor McGregor vs the favorite, Khabib Nurmagomedov was going to happen on the debut of the Russian TV deal. It is likely gone!” he said. “And I believe it goes to Nate Diaz.”
Nurmagomedov failed to make weight on one other occasion in his UFC career. He also has had multiple injuries and issues that have kept him away from several key bouts such as this one.