Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor appeared to settle their differences inside the Octagon at UFC 229. The Russian champion in Nurmagomedov was taking on the Irishman in McGregor, where it was the champion defending his title as he submitted McGregor in the fourth round.
Yet, after the fight, there was a post-fight melee that Nurmagomedov was involved with along with both fighters camps. So, for the undefeated champion, he says the rivalry is not finished.
“Even this fight finish, not everything is finished,” Nurmagomedov said to ESPN. “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.”
Even though the rivalry is not finished, Khabib Nurmagomedov does not think Conor McGregor deserves another fight with him, at least for now. The champion is set to take on Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 242 next weekend.
After that, Nurmagomedov wants to fight either Tony Ferguson or Georges St-Pierre. Instead, he believes if Conor McGregor wants to fight him again, he needs to fight and can’t just hold out.
Conor McGregor needs wins before rematch can happen according to Khabib Nurmagomedov
“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 [Gaethje], fight with [Al] 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.”
Of course, McGregor spoke to ESPN last week and mentioned the fact he was close to fighting Justin Gaethje in July before an injury. He also says he wants to come back and wants the rematch against Nurmagomedov but is fine fighting other people.
Regardless, this rivalry is far from finished and the amount of money the first fight generated, it is hard to think a rematch won’t happen eventually. But, if Khabib Nurmagomedov has his way, it won’t happen until Conor McGregor wins some fights.
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The Scrap’s Cole Shelton is a full-time MMA writer for various news outlets. Make sure to follow Cole on Twitter (@ColeShelton91) for a variety of content.