Nurmagomedov shoots down talk of return bout with Dubliner
Khabib Nurmagomedov has dismissed talk of an imminent rematch with Conor McGregor.
The pair last met at UFC 229 in October of 2018, with Nurmagomedov winning by submission inside four rounds of their Lightweight Championship contest. Neither have fought since, but while McGregor has been racking up court appearances, the Russian is turning his attention to his return to the octagon.
Nurmagomedov is slated to fight interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi on September 7th. Speaking at the press conference ahead of that fight, Nurmagomedov had a shot at McGregor's comparative inactivity, "In the last three years he has one win in amateur boxing". McGregor famously lost an exhibition bout to the retired Floyd Mayweather in August of 2017, and has only returned to the UFC for that loss to the Russian.
And while his focus remains on Poirier in September, Nurmagomedov laughed off suggestions that a McGregor rematch may still be in his cross hairs, "He tapped. He begged me to let him live. How does he deserve a rematch?"
"Tony Ferguson on the line. People who have win streak are on the line but not the guy who don’t win nothing the last three years."
Both McGregor and Nurmagomedov were sanctioned for their roles in the ugly scenes that punctuated their fight in Las Vegas last year. McGregor was fined $50,000 and handed a six-month suspension. Nurmagomedov was banned for nine months with a $500,000 fine. Following his victory at UFC 229, Nurmagomedov leapt into the crowd to confront members of McGregor's entourage. Associates of Nurmagomedov then entered the octagon and attacked McGregor.
Despite continued talk of a potentially money-spinning rematch with McGregor, Nurmagomedov isn't daring to overlook Poirier, "I don’t want to underestimate my opponent in Dustin. He’s a tough challenge for me. Right now I don’t want to think about other opponents. I have to focus on my opponent."
I’m preparing for this fight like I’m going to have the hardest fight in my life,” Nurmagomedov said. “I can’t wait. Sept. 7 is going to be a big, big night for me, for my legacy and for Dustin, too".