Conor McGregor: Khabib Nurmagomedov Can’t “Scurry Away From Bouts”
As it stands right now, Khabib Nurmagomedov is retired, and Conor McGregor apparently finds his rival's decision "baffling".
Conor McGregor has ramped down his verbal attacks on Khabib Nurmagomedov, somewhat, since the star announced he was retiring this past October. But, while talking about his rival’s apparent retirement recently, McGregor took a couple of verbal pokes at the undefeated lightweight.
McGregor argues Khabib can’t “scurry away” from big fights
Nurmagomedov announced he was hanging up the gloves after he defeated Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. The star reported that after his father passed away last year, due to complications from COVID-19, that he promised his mother he would retire.
Afterward, McGregor congratulated Khabib on his win and offered his condolences once again. But, while talking to The MacLife ahead of UFC 257, McGregor couldn’t help but take some subtle jabs at his former foe (quotes via MMA Junkie).
“How you could walk away at this stage is baffling to me, but each to their own,” McGregor said, while commenting on Khabib’s retirement.
“There’s so many fights out there. Even to carry on around the Tony (Ferguson) situation – I don’t care about nothing.
You’re scheduled to fight a man, no matter what, fights must take place. You can’t just scurry away from bouts.
It’s been the hallmark of his approach. I was not surprised to see him walk away or scurry away, I should say, so it is what it is.
We carry on.”
McGregor is booked to fight Dustin Poirier in the headliner of UFC 257, and when asked if he thinks it should be for the belt, given Khabib’s apparent retirement, he said this.
“I feel it should be,” McGregor said. “I don’t think Dana is going to be bouncing in to throw me a belt straight away with the way the year went, but I understand.
What are the belts? I’m here to compete, get some good competition, and the belts will come. I think maybe the next bout is fair.
“I would have liked to see it this fight, but there were circumstances surrounding the man scurrying away to an extent, and they’ve given him a bit of time.
We’ll see what happens. I’m not gonna get caught up in the politics of this business. I have in the past, and it’s hampered me.”
Are there “so many fights”?
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Now, Khabib and others might question whether there are in fact, a lot of fights out there for the champ right now.
Nurmagomedov has already defeated Gaethje, Poirier and McGregor, who are ranked #1, #2 and #4 respectively.
Charles Oliveira is ranked #3, and is on a massive roll. But, he’s not a huge, household name yet.
There’s been a lot of talk about Khabib possibly returning to fight Georges St-Pierre. But, GSP doesn’t sound on board with dropping to 155 pounds.
Of course, in Conor’s mind, one of these fights is a rematch with him. But, in recent months, Khabib has said several times he’s not interested in facing Poirier or McGregor again.