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Khabib Nurmagomedov Hasn’t Changed His Mind About Conor McGregor’s Title Shot Prospects

It still remains to be seen when and who Conor McGregor will fight next. But, Khabib Nurmagomedov [1] continues to say that it won’t be him.

Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

McGregor’s drive for a rematch

Ever since Nurmagomedov submitted McGregor last October at UFC 229, the former featherweight and lightweight champ has pushed for an immediate rematch. McGregor has said that he’s willing to fight someone else first. But following Khabib’s win over Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 last month, McGregor called for a rematch with the champ in Moscow. [2]

Khabib’s latest comments

Well, despite McGregor’s campaign, and calls from his fans for a rematch, Nurmagomedov has repeatedly shot down the idea. The vaunted grappler has insisted that Tony Ferguson deserves the next shot at the belt, and he’s also cited the fact McGregor hasn’t won a bout since 2016, as to why he shouldn’t fight for the belt next.

Recently Nurmagomedov spoke with RT Sports [3], and the renowned fighter had this to say about McGregor’s title shot prospects (quotes via MMA Junkie [4]):

“From a fighter’s point of view, (the McGregor rivalry) is a thing of the past,” Nurmagomedov said. “I have nothing to prove. But he has something to prove. We know he does. There’s a lot of businessmen here and I think most of them will tell me to fight him because it’ll bring money. I’d fight all the main contenders first, and I could fight him to benefit my agricultural projects.

“I have to say that Tony Ferguson deserves it more. You have to give him credit. He is on a 12-fight win streak and he deserves it more than Conor. Conor has to come back (and) stop hitting old people. He is a professional fighter. He should come back, win, earn his place and get in line.”

So, barring some big change, it certainly looks like McGregor will need to return to the win column before he locks up a rematch with Nurmagomedov (of course, Khabib will need to defeat Ferguson, if that fight happens).

Khabib said he’s hoping to fight next in March or April. So, you would think the UFC will work on booking a fight for McGregor in the interim. If he takes on a top contender, like say, Justin Gaethje, and wins that fight, then his case for another title shot will be bolstered. But, will that happen? That’s the big question.

McGregor’s last victory took place in November, 2016, when he took out Eddie Alvarez to win the 155 title.