Conor McGregor: The people need to see a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov

Conor McGregor has told Khabib Nurmagomedov “the world knows this war is not over” as he hinted at a future confrontation if his long-standing foe avoids a rematch.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The pair’s storied grudge escalated when Nurmagomedov retained his UFC lightweight title by forcing McGregor to tap in the fourth round of their October 2018 bout, after which a post-fight melee involving both combatants ensued.

McGregor has made it known he would relish a chance to avenge the loss but Nurmagomedov announced his mixed martial arts retirement last October after extending his perfect professional record to 29-0 by defeating Justin Gaethje.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

McGregor returns to the octagon after a 12-month absence to take on Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 this weekend but the Irishman turned his attention to Nurmagomedov when asked if the rivalry had cooled.

Conor McGregorConor McGregor
Conor McGregor

“All of those events were in 2018, it’s now 2021,” McGregor told a press conference. “What I will say as long as we fight again there will be no issue, that’s it. If he continues to run then I’m not sure, we’ll see what happens.”

In bowing out of the sport, Nurmagomedov revealed he had promised his mother he would not continue to fight without his father, coach and mentor Abdulmanap, who died last July after complications arising from contracting coronavirus.

However, UFC president Dana White has held talks with Nurmagomedov and disclosed the Russian could make a comeback if he sees “something spectacular” between McGregor and Poirier in their 155lb bout at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It’s a tough business, things have gone on in his personal life, I don’t wish any harm, it was 2018, a lot of time has passed,” McGregor added.

“The world knows this war is not over, the sport needs it to happen, the people need it to happen.

“I’m not going to chase it if he doesn’t want it. I’ll keep my calm and move on.

“That’s what I’m doing, I’m back here at the 155lb division, I’ll show the world what’s what over time and that’s it. It begins on Saturday night against Dustin Poirier.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Nurmagomedov remains the lightweight champion despite retiring, leading McGregor to add: “We’ll get him…If he continues to dodge his commitment to fighting, the title should be stripped. I predict a title strip.”

There was no animosity between McGregor and Poirier ahead of the rematch of their September 2014 bout, which the Dubliner won. The duo shook hands before the press conference and twice more at the head-to-head.

Indeed, McGregor promised to give his opponent a bottle of his own brand of whiskey after the fight, while Poirier intends to return the favour by presenting the former two-weight UFC champion with his signature hot sauce.

This will be McGregor’s first fight since stopping Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds January last year – as he extended his record to 22-4 in MMA – and only his second since the loss to Nurmagomedov, who beat Poirier by submission in September 2019.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Poirier (26-6) put together an impressive streak before coming a cropper against Nurmagomedov and rebounded from the setback by beating Dan Hooker by decision last June.

“I’m very happy to be here,” McGregor added. “Dustin has put on an incredible run since our last fight, it’s been a long time coming.

“Yes, I did get the win over him the first time but he’s rose right up and he’s back up there at the top of the division, so I’m excited to compete with him again.”


Hide Ad
Hide Ad


A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Subscribe to and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Irish and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Thank you,

Alistair Bushe


Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.