MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 5/6: Khabib Nurmagomedov wants GSP fight next year, PFL announces first three shows of 2019

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Khabib Nurmagomedov (photo credit Adam Hunger © USA Today Sports)

Keeping busy

Once his suspension is up in July, Khabib Nurmagomedov is hoping to stay active over the next year, according to his manager. Ali Abdelaziz told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani that Nurmagomedov would like to fight this coming September and December, and then in April of 2020.

The September fight will be UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi, presumably against interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier, although no official announcement has been made. The December fight could be against the winner of a Donald Cerrone-Conor McGregor fight if Cerrone gets his wish and is able to fight McGregor in July. While these first two fights are purely speculation, Abdelaziz knows exactly who Nurmagomedov wants to fight next April.

“If Georges St-Pierre can figure things out with the UFC by April, that’s the deal. He would like that fight in April.”

Georges St-Pierre announced his retirement late last year so that fight seems unlikely, but perhaps Nurmagomedov and Abdelaziz have reason to believe St-Pierre would come out of retirement for the opportunity to fight Nurmagomedov. GSP had expressed interest in that fight before he retired but claimed UFC was not interested.

One person Abdelaziz says his client will not be fighting anytime soon is McGregor, who will have to win a fight or two first to earn another shot.

“To be honest, Conor is going to have to go out there and fight somebody like Justin Gaethje, Tony Ferguson or Cowboy [Cerrone],” Abdelaziz said. “He’s not a worthy enough opponent right now. That’s the feeling from all of us, as a team.”

PFL returning

PFL announced their next three shows for their 2019 regular season. The first is this Thursday, May 9 headlined by Kayla Harrison vs. Svetlana Khautova. They will return two weeks later for a show headlined by Lance Palmer vs. Alex Gilpin and also features Andre Harrison, Ramsey Nijem and Rashid Magomedov. Finally, a June 3 show will feature Philipe Lins vs. Satoshi Ishii. All three shows will air on ESPN 2 and ESPN+ and will take place at NYCB Live on Long Island, N.Y.

The full cards are as follows (via MMAFighting):

PFL 1 – May 9


Kayla Harrison vs. Svetlana Khautova
Magomed Magomedkerimov vs. John Howard
Ray Cooper III vs. Zane Kamaka
Sarah Kaufman vs. Morgan Frier
Sadibou Sy vs. David Michaud


Handesson Ferreira vs. Bojan Velickovic
Genah Fabian vs. Bobbi Jo Dalziel
Gamzat Khiramagomedov vs. Glaico Franca
Andre Fialho vs. Chris Curtis
Larissa Pacheco vs. Roberta Samad

PFL 2 – May 23


Lance Palmer vs. Alex Gilpin
Chris Wade vs. Nate Andrews
Andre Harrison vs. TBD
Ramsey Nijem vs. Ronys Torres
Akhmed Aliev vs. Carlao Silva
Alexandre Almeida vs. Luis Rafael Laurentino
Islam Mamedov vs. Ylies Djiroun
Rashid Magomedov vs. Loik Radzhabov


Natan Schulte vs. Bao Yincang
Alexandre Bezerra vs. Jeremy Kennedy
Damon Jackson vs. Movlid Khaybulaev
Steven Siler vs. Gadzhi Rabadanov

PFL 3 – June 6


Philipe Lins vs. Satoshi Ishii
Kelvin Tiller vs. Muhammed Dereese
Maxim Grishin vs. Jordan Johnson
Valdrin Istrefi vs. Ali Isaev
Rakim Cleveland vs. Viktor Nemkov
Ronny Markes vs. Sigi Pesaleli
Rashid Yusupov vs. Mikhail Mokhnatkin
Alex Nicholson vs. Francimar Barroso


Vinny Magalhaes vs. Emiliano Sordi
Dan Spohn vs. Bozigit Ataev
Jared Rosholt vs. Denis Goltsov
Ben Edwards vs. Ante Delija

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