Khabib Nurmagomedov wants Conor McGregor and is the consensus number one contender for the lightweight champion, however the Dagestani destroyer has conceded a fight with Tony Ferguson for an interim UFC lightweight championship could be the best plan B.

Following his impressive and dominant victory of Michael Johnson at UFC 205, coupled with an excellent post fight interview with Joe Rogan, Khabib has done everything possible both in and out of the Octagon to warrant the next shot at McGregor’s UFC 155lb championship.

With the two-weight champion looking to take an extended period of time off while his girlfriend Dee Devlin gives birth to their first child in May, the undefeated Nurmagomedov is looking to keep busy and believes a fight with Ferguson for an interim strap would leave the promotion with no chance but to set up a unification bout upon McGregor’s return.

Nurmagomedov spoke of going under the radar for a while and only looking to emerge for one of two potential fights. “Now I just want to go underground and take a break for a month and a half,” said Khabib told MK’s Alexey Safonov,. “Not from training and from the media, just the media, I’m tired.

“And in terms of plans in the UFC, there are two: an interim title fight with Tony Ferguson, or fight for a real belt against Conor McGregor. Of course, I would like the second option (McGregor), but am inclined to think that they want to set me up with Ferguson. Well, I’ll take the fight.”

Nurmagomedov believes an interim championship around his waist would force the promotion and McGregor to fight him next. “This is the key to the door of the room in which Conor is sitting,” he added. “And I really want to open this door now but there are too many guards.”

Following the interview, the 24-0 took to social media and shared a screenshot of a message where he slid into Conor McGregor’s DM’s. “I am old school and try to do this man to man but the he don’t want anything to do with a real man,” tweeted Nurmagomedov. “Time to move on Dana White, Sean Shelby.”

The screenshot of the direct message he sent to McGregor which didn’t receive a reply read as follows: ‘Conor you the champion now you need to fight with me. If you run every time you look in the mirror you not going to respect yourself, your kids not going to respect you, your friends, your family won’t respect you. Die like a samurai don’t chicken out please. I know I’m bad matchup for you but you the champion and you need to fight the best. It’s ok. Die like Irish warrior, don’t run like chicken. Irish people have long history and fight for long time you need to represent your people with honour.’