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'Now he needs to bring his Irish team to Madison Square Garden to finish our business'

Khabib Nurmagomedov wants to defend his belt against Conor McGregor in New York this November.

MMA 2016 - UFC 205 - New York UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Source: Jason Silva

UFC LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPION Khabib Nurmagomedov has invited Conor McGregor to bid to regain the 155-pound title in New York this November.

McGregor, who had all felony charges dismissed after entering a plea of disorderly conduct at Brooklyn Criminal Court yesterday, is free to resume his career after avoiding a jail term.

The former two-weight champion is preparing for a return to the octagon, having not competed in mixed martial arts since defeating Eddie Alvarez to win the lightweight title at Madison Square Garden in November 2016.

Now, Nurmagomedov wants McGregor to make his comeback at the same venue, with the UFC scheduled to stage an event at the famous Manhattan arena on 3 November.

Discussions between the UFC and McGregor’s camp have taken place regarding his next fight, according to the Dubliner’s manager Audie Attar, who says a deal is close.

Las Vegas on 6 October has been reported as a potential date, but the man currently in possession of the lightweight belt that McGregor once held appears to have a preference for November in New York.

Nurmagomedov told John Morgan of MMAjunkie.com: “[I'm] glad that [McGregor] stayed out of jail, because I wouldn’t be able to punish him in that case. Now he needs to bring his Irish team to [Madison Square Garden] in November and finish our business.”

UPI 20180726 Conor McGregor pictured outside Brooklyn Criminal Court yesterday. Source: UPI/PA Images

McGregor’s court appearance yesterday related to an incident which occurred in Brooklyn last April, when the Dubliner and several associates attacked a bus carrying UFC fighters, including Nurmagomedov.

It’s understood that the attack was carried out in retaliation for an altercation that took place earlier in the week, when Nurmagomedov and members of his team cornered Artem Lobov — McGregor’s Straight Blast Gym team-mate — in a hotel corridor.

McGregor will subsequently have to undertake anger management classes and five days of community service, but he can now return to fighting once a deal can be reached with the UFC.

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The 30-year-old, who was also previously the UFC’s featherweight champion, became the first fighter in the organisation’s history to hold two titles simultaneously by getting the better of Alvarez almost two years ago.

However, he was eventually stripped of both belts due to inactivity. Nurmagomedov snapped up the lightweight strap in April by overcoming Al Iaquinta in a bout for the vacant title.

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Paul Dollery

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