Last week, Conor McGregor sat down with ESPN where, among other things, he addressed his return to the cage, saying that he wants a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov. It was a continuance of what McGregor has been saying all summer, that his rivalry with Nurmagomedov isn’t over. Well, Khabib agrees, though he says it may be over inside the cage.
Speaking with ESPN ahead of his lightweight title defense against Dustin Poirier, Nurmagomedov addressed his ongoing rivalry with McGregor saying that despite his dominant victory over “Notorious” that the beef would never be squashed.
“Even this fight finish, not everything is finished,” Nurmagomedov said. “Just smash people it’s not enough. I talk about just smash only him? It’s not enough. We have to smash all his team. This is what I think before the fight. This is what I say to my team. ‘Hey, tonight, we’re going to war. This is not about fight.’
“It will never be finished. Ever. Even if we see [each other] somewhere, we’re going to fight, 100 percent. It doesn’t matter if someone go to jail or something like this. I’m not scared about this. If someone has to go to jail, they go to jail. . . They go to hospital and we’ll go to police. That’s it.”
These don’t feel like idle words from Nurmagomedov, perhaps because immediately after throttling McGregor into submission, Khabib leaped out of the cage and attacked the rest of McGregor’s team, inciting a brawl that eventually resulted in a nine month suspension for Nurmagomedov and a hefty fine. But while those events don’t seem to have dissuaded Khabib, the brawl itself did incentivize Dana White. White has been open about being interested in a rematch, in large part because of the business it would draw. Had Khabib not jumped out of the cage, interest in watching McGregor get “smashed” again might well be demurred. Instead, Dana White has said that a rematch is “absolutely possible.”
Khabib disagrees. For now, Khabib says, their beef inside the cage is finished. He finished it when McGregor tapped out last year and the only way things will change is if Conor does what losing fighters are supposed to do, put some wins together and prove you belong there.
“I don’t think this fight can happen,” Nurmagomedov said. “This guy have to come back and make nine- or 10-fight win streak. Then we gonna fight. Maybe people who watch this interview, they think, ‘Oh, he think about this, but when UFC ask this guy to fight Conor for millions of dollars, this guy is gonna take it.’ No. Come back and show who are you. Fight with Justin, fight with Iaquinta, fight with Tony. Fight. Just show up. When he win last time? Three years ago and this guy wants to fight for the title?
”Dana [White], no need to call me. Why he have to call me about this fight? We talk with Dana sometimes, he’s a good guy, but don’t talk with me about this crazy fight. I want to fight real guys – Dustin Poirier, Tony Ferguson, maybe if one of the greatest athletes ever, Georges St-Pierre, wants to fight. I want to fight those guys. I don’t want to fight with a guy who never wins.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov will unify his lightweight title with interim champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 on Sept. 7 in Abu Dhabi.
Title fight. UFC Shenzhen weigh-in results, video
Shady. Several fighters still haven’t been paid from Battlefield FC 2 card in July.
Cage Warriors. Cage Warriors returns to Ireland on Nov. 9.
Missed Fists. The best highlights from the previous week in regional MMA.
Inside the Octagon: Khabib vs. Poirier.
Countdown Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix.
Road to UFC 242.
Chuck tells BJ to stop fighting.
Nik Lentz offers BJ to come train with him . . .
Show Money. A special edition breaking down the ongoing hearings in Las Vegas this week.
MMA Vivisecton. Breaking down the best fights from UFC Shenzhen.
Dom coming back at Cejudo.
And Henry still calling out everybody but Joe B, Petr Yan, or Aljo.
This seems ambitious. Schaub can grapple and is huge.
PVZ is ready to go.
Gracie’s got a museum.
That’s the training required to make a GOAT.
Driscus De Plessis (12-2) vs. Joilton Santos (30-7); KSW 50, Sept. 14.
I encourage you to watch the entire Khabib interview. He carries himself as a man who truly knows he’s the best in the world, in a matter of fact fashion.
“I think they believe [they will win]. This guy is one of the best in the world. They have to believe. Why come to fight if you don’t believe yourself? I think they believe too. But after first round I think they not believe.”
The way he says that is low key one of the coldest MMA quotes in recent history.
Thanks for reading and see y’all on Monday.
Who wins this weekend?
486 votes total
If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.