As Conor McGregor gets set to battle Dustin Poirier for a second time at UFC 257, his verbal shots at Khabib Nurmagomedov have ramped down in intensity, somewhat. But, at the same time, the former lightweight champ continues to argue that a rematch between the two would unfold, quite differently.

McGregor claims Khabib is “afraid” to fight him again

Ever since McGregor was submitted by Nurmagomedov in their massive, 2018 bout, he’s pushed for a rematch with the undefeated fighter. For a long time, Khabib argued that McGregor needed to record multiple wins, before he deserves another title shot.

Then, before and after Khabib’s retirement announcement in October, the champ said he had no interest in fighting McGregor or Poirier again.

Well, recently McGregor spoke with ESPN, and of course his rival, came up. When asked about the possibility of a rematch with Nurmagomedov, McGregor said this (quotes via MMA Junkie).

“I think he’s afraid to fight me, that’s for damn sure. I don’t blame him.

I know exactly what to face. I fought the best of him that night and he fought the worst of me that night.

He knows it, I know it, his team knows it.

“…I have the answer to destroy that man. He can pull the wool over people’s eyes only for so long, but it is what it is.

I know there’s surrounding things regarding the family. If he’s retired then that’s it I wish him well.

But I am who I am and I’m at the top and time will show.”

McGregor also took the following poke at Nurmagomedov, over his retirement.

“I think his hand is showing he’s not a true fighter, in my opinion,” McGregor said.

“I mean how could you retire? How could you walk away? There’s so many fights to be had.

“Think of (Nate) Diaz, (Tony) Ferguson, there’s (Charles) Oliveira, the rematch with me.

I think it’s just preposterous to walk away. Not only did he (expletive) on the bus, I think he (expletive) on the chips, also.

I think he showed his hand, but then at the same time, there’s family issues. So it is what it is. All the best.”


If you follow McGregor, you know that he’s repeatedly argued that a foot injury he was dealing with leading up to the Khabib fight, hindered his abilities in the contest. He’s also reported he was drinking during his training camp.

But, at the end of the day, Nurmagomedov doesn’t have much to gain by facing McGregor again, other than a massive check. What most people remember is Khabib controlling most of that contest, and tapping McGregor out in round four.

Now, this past weekend, Dana White claimed Khabib has said he could fight again, if someone impresses him in the coming weeks. Could Khabib change gears and agree to face McGregor again if he takes out Poirier in dominant fashion?

It’s possible? But, it remains to be seen if McGregor can do that. If the former just gets by Poirier, then one would think Khabib will close the door on this chapter for good.

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