'Ultimate Fighter' Season With Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor Previously Proposed

Khabib Nurmagomedov previously defeated Conor McGregor during the main event at UFC 229. Many fans have called for a rematch, but this will not take place. According to Nurmagomedov's manager, the fighter actually turned down an opportunity to coach against McGregor during an upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter.

TMZ recently spoke with the manager, Ali Abdelaziz, about a potential rematch. The plan would be for Nurmagomedov to take part in his planned bout with Justin Gaethje and then prepare for The Ultimate Fighter. He and McGregor could coach separate teams and then face off against each other at the end of the season. However, Nurmagomedov wanted nothing to do with McGregor.

"Last week, Dana White called me, said 'Ali what do you think about if Khabib wins, him and Conor will do The Ultimate Fighter on ESPN?'" Abdelaziz told TMZ. "Khabib turned it down. ... He said, 'This man is human trash. He's garbage. When you touch s—, you smell like s—. [Conor] hasn’t earned the fight." Abdelaziz also said that the UFC made the same pitch to Gaethje if he reigns victorious during the upcoming matchup.

The Ultimate Fighter has previously pitted bitter rivals against each other for viewers' entertainment. Some seasons featured Rashad Evans vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Michael Bisping vs. Jason "Mayhem" Miller, and Georges St-Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck. Adding McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov to this list would have brought considerable intrigue to the long-running MMA show, but that scenario will not take place.

While Nurmagomedov will not face off against McGregor, but he will ultimately fight Gaethje. The two men will enter the octagon at UFC Fight Island as the main event at UFC 254. This fight will be the final scheduled event on Yas Island, and it will unify the lightweight division.

Nurmagomedov has not entered the octagon since his title defense against Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in September 2019. Gaethje earned an interim lightweight title by defeating Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in May. Now only one man will have the title of champion after the upcoming fight.


McGregor, on the other hand, is technically retired from the UFC. He remains away from the octagon and recently teased an upcoming boxing match against Manny Pacquiao. The two men will reportedly face off in the Middle East in 2021. The match will also raise money for COVID-19 relief in the Philippines.

"For the sake of all the Filipino Covid-19 victims, Senator Manny Pacquiao will be fighting UFC superstar Conor McGregor next year," Pacquiao's aide, Jayke Joson said, per ESPN. "The huge portion of his earnings will proceed to those who are affected nationwide by the pandemic."