Conor McGregor may never get the chance to avenge his past loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov, but that doesn’t mean he has forgotten the rivalry they share.
More than two years have passed since the lightweight entered the war at UFC 229, with Nurmagomedov solidifying his reign as champion after subduing McGregor in the fourth round. The aftermath of that fight exploded into the crowd as Nurmagomedov jumped over the cage to engage with some of McGregor’s teammates while many of the undefeated Russian’s cornermen ended up throwing their hands at the Irish superstar.
With McGregor now focused on his next fight against Dustin Poirier at UFC 257, the former two-division champion would be remiss not to talk about Nurmagomedov and his decision to retire after his last victory, which would put obviously end to any possibility of a rematch.
“How you could walk away at this point is baffling to me but to each in their own way,” McGregor told Mac Life of Nurmagomedov’s decision to call it a career. “There are so many amazing fights out there. Even the carry-on baggage around the Tony [Ferguson] situation, as if I don’t care about anything. You have to fight a man. No matter what. Battles must take place. You can’t get away from the fighting.
“It was the hallmark of his approach. Wasn’t surprised to see him pull away or rush, should I say. It is what it is. We continue.”
While Nurmagomedov pulled off what could have been the last fight of his career – a second round submission against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 – McGregor couldn’t help himself when it came to a ‘pre-fight which had aroused barely 24 hours before. the event.
“I don’t think he put on any weight last time around here either to be honest,” McGregor said. “It was very skeptical on the scale. Very, very unusual behavior. But that’s what it is.
Regardless of any alleged weigh-in controversy, Nurmagomedov scored the victory and then revealed a promise made to his mother to retire following the tragic death of his father Abdumanap earlier in the same year due to complications from the contraction of COVID-19.
Still, as part of the two-week stay in Abu Dhabi, UFC President Dana White plans to meet with Nurmagomedov to see if he can get the lightweight champion to return for one more fight.
White has made it clear that he wants to book Nurmagomedov in a rematch against McGregor, which would obviously do huge business for the UFC after their debut pay-per-view became the best-selling fight in history. the company.
That said, Nurmagomedov has stated on several occasions since his retirement that he would have no desire to come back to face McGregor after having already beaten him hard the first time around.
Because White is still trying to convince Nurmagomedov to fight again, the UFC lightweight title is always wrapped around his waist. McGregor believes that if Nurmagomedov has really hung up his gloves for good, his fight against Poirier should likely determine the new 155-pound champion.
“I think it should be [for the title]McGregor said. “I don’t think Dana is going to bounce back to throw a belt right now with the way the year has been and I understand that. What are the belts? I am here to compete. Get some good competition and the belts will come.
“The belt, I think maybe the next fight, is fair. I would have loved to see this fight but there were circumstances in which the man would rush to some extent. They gave him some time. We’ll see what happens. I have no problem with that.
While McGregor would be happy to compete for the lightweight title against Poirier, he doesn’t put much energy into a situation out of his control.
Rather than finding himself locked into a skirmish with the UFC over the stakes of his next fight, McGregor is resolute in his commitment to impressively beat Poirier and then move forward in his career as he seeks to stay busy throughout. long 2021.
“I’m not going to get caught up in the politics of this company,” McGregor said. “I have done this in the past and it bothered me. So we focus on the fight ahead and that’s it.