Khabib Nurmagomedov Says Fans Only Want to See Rematch With Conor McGregor For “Drama”
Talk about if and when Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor are going to fight again continues to make the rounds. But, according to the lightweight champ, buzz for the rematch is on account of the drama that would ensue, rather than the fight itself.
Although Khabib Nurmagomedov has a very, very tough fight ahead of him in the form of Tony Ferguson, the UFC’s lightweight king continues to get asked about a rematch with Conor McGregor. The vaunted grappler continues to argue that McGregor doesn’t deserve one yet. But, recently Khabib had an interesting take on why there’s buzz for a second fight.
Nurmagomedov says fans want to see “drama”
Ever since McGregor was submitted by Nurmagomedov in October, 2018, he’s pushed for a second fight with the champ. Although initially, many people believed the UFC would grant him an immediate rematch, on account of how much money it would generate, ultimately, McGregor faced Donald Cerrone at UFC 246. After the star quickly took out Cerrone, UFC President Dana White said he is next for the winner of the April 18th bout between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson.
Well, as noted above, Nurmagomedov continues to say that Conor needs to record some big wins, before he gets another title shot. But, while talking to TMZ Sports recently, Khabib had this to say, while discussing why people want to see him fight Conor again (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“I think people want to see us continue what happened last time,” Nurmagomedov said. “They just want to see drama. If you ask people, ‘Guys, what do you think, who’s gonna win?’ 99 percent going to say ‘Khabib, like he did first time.’ Just people want to see a big drama show, only for this one.
“If we talk about money, this is good. If we talk about drama, this is good. If we talk about real lightweight contender or real lightweight championship fight, this is not good. This is not real championship fight. But if we talk about drama and money, of course this is good. But I come here for show, to make my legacy. For my legacy, I have to beat tough opponents like Dustin Poirier, like (Al) Iaquinta, like other guys. Right now it’s Tony Ferguson. I have to beat all of them, like real contenders, not fake contenders.”
Does the champ have a point? Sort of? There’s no question that there are pundits and fans out there who want to see if McGregor can perform better in a rematch. McGregor says he was dealing with a foot injury heading into the first bout, and he’s also admitted he had a bad training camp.
But, the consensus certainly seems to be that Nurmagomedov would likely beat McGregor again. The lead-up to their first fight was vicious and then there was the post-fight brawl, so, there’s no doubt a lot of people are interested in a rematch because of the drama.
Nurmagomedov is focused on “El Cucuy”
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But, despite the fact Khabib can’t do an interview without getting asked about fighting McGregor again, he sounds pretty focused on the task at hand. That task is defeating one of the best lightweights of this generation in Ferguson.
“I think, just my opinion, my last couple of years, I compete with guys like Barboza, dos Anjos, Conor, Poirier, Iaquinta, all of these guys not tough like Tony Ferguson,” Nurmagomedov said. “That’s why now I feel I have real motivation because before when I watched all these opponents I think like, ‘Okay, I can beat this guy.’ Of course, I work hard, but right now it’s a very, very tough opponent.
There you have it. UFC 249 will take place in Brooklyn, New York.