Nearly 11 months after his fight with Conor McGregor, and with his next bout just days away, Khabib Nurmagomedov isn’t over his beef with the famed Irish fighter.
Though he believes that will “never be finished,” Nurmagomedov told ESPN on Thursday that he doesn’t have any interest in a rematch with McGregor.
At least, not an official rematch.
“Even [the October fight] did not finish it,” Nurmagomedov said, via ESPN. “Just smash people is 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%. It doesn't matter if someone go to jail or something like this. I'm not scared about this. ... They go to hospital and we go to police. That's it.”
Nurmagomedov beat McGregor last October at UFC 229 via submission at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and has feuded with McGregor for quite some time — a rivalry that included a bus attack, offensive social media posts, family insults and more. Nurmagomedov even jumped out of the Octagon after his last fall to confront McGregor’s team, actions that resulted in a nine-month suspension.
Nurmagomedov is set to defend his title next Saturday at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in a bout with Dustin Poirer, his first fight since beating McGregor. Should he beat Porier, Nurmagomedov has made it more than clear that he wants to take on Tony Ferguson next.
Though a rematch with McGregor would draw an insane amount of attention, Nurmagomedov doesn’t care.
McGregor hasn’t fought since that loss — which marked his second loss in four bouts — and again tweeted that he has retired from the sport, though has hinted at a return. Nurmagomedov said his attention is elsewhere, only at people who are winning fights.
“This guy [McGregor] have to come back and make nine- or 10-fight win streak. Then we gonna fight,” Nurmagomedov said, via ESPN. “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. Fight. Come back and show who are you.
“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."
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