First, Eddie Alvarez was set to defend his newly-won 155 pound belt against featherweight champion Conor McGregor at UFC 205 in New York City. Now, it appears Alvarez will take on Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 206 in Toronto instead.
Alvarez, 32, who just scored a career-defining technical knock out over former champ Rafael dos Anjos to take the lightweight belt. Ever since, rumors of a Conor McGregor fight for Alvarez’s first title defense have persisted until Wednesday, when Khabib Nurmagomedov’s name emerged as the first lightweight to get a crack at Eddie’s belt.
Nurmagomedov is a perfect 23-0, with seven of those victories occurring in the UFC since debuting with the promotion back in 2012. Injuries have plagued the 28-year-old Dagestani and kept him out of competition for two years, and just recently returned to the Octagon with a TKO win over Darrell Horcher in April. Prior to the fight with Horcher, Nurmagomedov defeated former champion Rafael dos Anjos in 2014 before the Brazilian won the belt.
Alvarez was originally linked to a lightweight title fight with featherweight champ Conor McGregor, who is coming off of a two-fight stint at 170 pounds, where he went 1-1 with Nate Diaz. One of the stipulations UFC president Dana White had for McGregor over a lightweight title shot was the need to strip the Irishmen of his belt, a stipulation which appears to have gone unheeded, as Khabib was quickly brought up as Alvarez’s next fight just days after Conor was suggested as an opponent.
Mcgregor was trying to become the first UFC fighter to hold two different weight class belts simultaneously.
Who would you rather see fight Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight belt, Conor McGregor or Khabib Nurmagomedov? Do you feel that Conor should be stripped of his featherweight belt should he take on Alvarez for lightweight gold? Sound off, PENN Nation!