High-profile manager Ali Abdelaziz, who represents multiple UFC champions and top contenders, once again took aim at Conor “Notorious” McGregor. Abdelaziz manages UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov, interim Lightweight Champion Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje and Welterweight Champion Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman, and all three fighters have been possible opponents for Notorious.
Abdelaziz has taken shots at McGregor throughout the years, including in a recent interview with TMZ Sports. The manager told the outlet that he’s “sick and tired” of McGregor getting title shots “he doesn’t deserve.”
Abdelaziz said, “Right now, [McGregor’s] on punishment for his bad behavior. Right now, he needs to sit down.”
He continued, “Go fight Tony Ferguson, stay busy, stay active. Go fight Jorge Masvidal. Stay active, I want to see activity. Remember, he used to say that to all of us, guess what? Payback is a b*tch.”
McGregor had shown interest in fighting for a UFC title at either lightweight or welterweight before his sudden retirement on June 6. However, Khabib and Gaethje are lined up to unify the lightweight belt in the fall, and The Nigerian Nightmare is scheduled to defend his welterweight belt at UFC 251 against Gilbert Burns on July 11.
Abdelaziz Responded to Notorious Retiring on June 6
Minutes after UFC Women’s Bantamweight and Featherweight Champion Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes defended her featherweight belt at UFC 250 on June 6, Notorious took to Twitter to announce his retirement. The Irishman tweeted: “Hey guys I’ve decided to retire from fighting. Thank you all for the amazing memories! What a ride it’s been!”
When asked by TMZ Sports for his thoughts on Notorious’ retirement, Abdelaziz said, “Same old prostitute, he wants attention.”
Many fans, fighters and analysts don’t believe the 31-year-old Irishman has hung up his gloves for good as he has retired three times in five years and he’s in his athletic prime.
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Abdelaziz Manages the 2 Men Competing Against Each Other in the Main Event of UFC 251
On July 11, the UFC is making its highly anticipated debut on “Fight Island.” For months, UFC president Dana White has been teasing fans with the introduction of an island venue to host fights.
White recently announced that Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, is the location for Fight Island. The promotion’s first event on the island is UFC 251, and it will be headlined by the welterweight championship match between Usman and the No. 1 contender, Gilbert “Durinho” Burns. Interestingly, Abdelaziz manages both fighters and both men are training partners.
When asked by TMZ Sports about the match, Abdelaziz said, “These guys, they’ve been fighting for 10 years for free. Now they’re going to get to fight for millions of dollars. What’s wrong with it?”
He said, “It’s the fight business. You step up, you get fed. You sit down, you don’t get fed. That’s it. Closed mouths [don’t] get fed.” Abdelaziz confirmed that The Nigerian Nightmare has been training with Henri Hooft in Florida but he will be finishing his fight camp in Colorado with Trevor Wittman.
When asked for his prediction on the fight, Abdelaziz said, “The best two fighters in the division [are] gonna fight. Buy the Pay-per-view and you’re gonna find out.”
The manager continued, “I got no prediction, you know where I’m gonna stand. I’m not picking sides here. I love both those guys equally. Kamaru’s my brother, I love Gilbert. I want them to fight each other, give each other a hug, both of them will be healthy and that’s it. That’s all I want.”