Conor McGregor is inching closer to finalizing a fight with UFC star Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018 because he's hemorrhaging cash in a bad way ... so says Khabib's manager.
"Conor's running out of money," Ali Abdelaziz tells TMZ Sports ... "This is why he agreed to fight Khabib."
Interesting statement considering McGregor is said to have made close to $100 mil for the Mayweather fight.
"It's okay," Ali says ... "We're gonna contribute of him making some money, but at the end of the day we owe him an ass whooping. He needs to get his ass whooped from Khabib."
Of course, the beef here is real -- when Conor attacked that bus at Barclays Center, he was targeting Khabib for allegedly disrespecting one of McGregor's friends in the days before UFC 223.
"He thinks he's a gangster," Ali says ... "I don't think he is. But, when you think you're a gangster, you're going to get treated like a gangster. And gangster, they end in jail or get beat up."
Ali tells TMZ Sports the two sides have 3 potential fight dates in mind -- all landing in the 2018.
There is one problem, one of the dates is Nov. 3 at Madison Square Garden -- but Ali doesn't think Conor can get licensed to fight in NY after the bus attack.
Which leaves us with UFC 229 on Oct. 6 and UFC 232 on Dec. 29 -- both in Vegas.
Get your popcorn ready.