Conor McGregor is widely expected to return to the Octagon for another fight with the UFC once 2018 arrives, as he hasn't competed for the promotion since November 2016 when he defeated Eddie Alvarez for the UFC Lightweight title with a second-round TKO in the main event of UFC 205.
Many fighters have put themselves forward for a possible fight with The Notorious, and all of them have so far been shot down. One of those fighters is Khabib Nurmagomedov, as The Eagle has proposed a fight between the two for UFC's first pay-per-view in Russia.
For the time being though, the top-ranked lightweight contender is set to take on Edson Barboza at UFC 219 at the end of the month at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but he ultimately believes McGregor is ruining the lightweight division.
During a Q&A, via RT Sport, Nurmagomedov believes that the lightweight division situation is ‘very bad’ as McGregor hasn't defended the division's title for over a year despite not being injured. The Russian also believes that the Irishman should be stripped of the championship.
Nurmagomedov said: “If he doesn’t have injuries, and he doesn’t defend his belt for more than a year, then it’s very bad.
“But when you are the champion and you don’t have an injury, you have to defend it. I really liked how Georges St-Pierre acted in a similar situation. Once he understood, that he won’t be able to fight, he didn’t hold his division (in wait). And that’s the decision of a real champion.
“Conor doesn’t defend his belt. I don’t even know when he is going to do that. He has the name, it’s profitable for the UFC that he is the champion. They make money because of him and they won’t strip him off the belt. But in my opinion, Conor had to be stripped off his belt a long time ago. And Tony Ferguson should be the real champion.”
Once McGregor does return to the Octagon, his first fight will likely be a unification fight with interim UFC Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson to decide who is the undisputed champion of the division.
With Nurmagomedov only being ranked behind both champions in the lightweight division currently, he could end up facing the winner of that fight in the future, so long as he wins when he takes on Barboza on December 30, but that will be no easy task.