Khabib Nurmagomedov Distances Himself From Rematch With “Idiot” Conor McGregor
By Ross Markey
The rivalry between lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov and former two-weight gold-holder, Conor McGregor seems to be one that’ll stand the test of time – regardless of the two ever sharing the Octagon again.
Nurmagomedov currently holds bragging rights over the Dubliner – after he successfully defended the lightweight throne back at UFC 229 in October of 2018. It was a pairing which crossed proverbial lines regarding religion, politics, and family – and described by UFC president, Dana White as one of the “darkest” rivalries he’s ever seen.
Despite the promotion’s head-honcho’s obvious intentions to make a hugely lucrative rematch between the two – Dagestan’s Nurmagomedov has clear ideas against such a clash.
The Sambo specialist seen his purse withheld by the Nevada State Athletic Commission due to his involvement in the post-fight brawl at UFC 229 – and has vowed to steer clear of Las Vegas in the future, as a result. The undefeated submission artist last competed at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi, submitting then-interim champion, Dustin Poirier via a third-round rear-naked choke.
In April – Nurmagomedov is pitted against perennial contender, Tony Ferguson as the promotion try it fifth time lucky on a highly-anticipated matchup between the two lightweight standouts.
White has made it clear that McGregor will “probably” face the winner of that bout, but in a recent interview, Nurmagomedov has denied such claims. News filtered through earlier this week that Saudi Arabia may play host to a potential rematch between Khabib and McGregor according to the controversy-ridden manager, Ali Abdelaziz – something Nurmagomedov has also refuted.
“Why do I need that sort of money. There are so many organizations, Khabib said in an interview with TMZ. “For example, there’s not only (soccer) for the blind, there’s sambo and other sports. Let (the UFC) give it to them if they don’t know what to do with the money. But giving me $100 million for me to beat up that idiot again? That’s not rational.”
Former featherweight and lightweight champion, McGregor, recently returned to winning ways, after an almost fifteen-month hiatus from the sport – knocking out veteran striker, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in forty-seconds at UFC 246 in January. McGregor has spoken of intentions to make himself available for a short-notice lightweight title pairing against Khabib or Ferguson in April – given both men’s previous failings to make the Octagon walk. The Crumlin native has also spun a narrative consisting of a three-fight “season” for 2020 – ending with a title tilt before the culmination of the year.