Conor McGregor says Khabib Nurmagomedov is avoiding rematch: ‘He’s afraid to fight me’
Conor McGregor believes that Khabib Nurmagomedov's retirement is much more than that.
The former UFC light and featherweight champion questions Nurmagomedov's decision to retire from the sport, saying it has a lot to do with avoiding a possible rematch between the two.
Nurmagomedov (29-0 MMA, 13-0 UFC) put on his gloves after defending his belt against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October. "The Eagle" cited a promise to his mother to stop fighting after the death of his father, coach and mentor Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov in early 2020 as a reason why he would not continue in MMA.
McGregor (22-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) believes there is more to this decision.
"I think he's scared to fight me, that's damn safe," McGregor told ESPN. "I don't blame him. I know exactly what to do. I fought the best of him that night, and he fought the worst of me that night. He knows, I know, his Team knows.
“I have the answer to destroy this man. He can only pull the wool over people's eyes for so long, but it is what it is. I know there are things that affect the family. When he retires, I wish him all the best. But I am who I am and I am at the top and time will tell. "
McGregor returns to the Octagon in an easy fight against Dustin Poirier on Saturday. The rematch makes headlines UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi.
McGregor and Nurmagomedov battled UFC 229 in 2018. Nurmagomedov entered the Irish in a dominant performance in the fourth round. Immediately after the fight, there was a brawl between the two teams, which resulted in several suspensions.
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McGregor doesn't understand Nurmagomedov's decision to retire from MMA. While not a rematch against him, McGregor believes that at £ 155 there are still plenty of challenges to face.
"I think his hand shows that I don't think he's a real fighter," said McGregor. “I mean, how can you retire? How can you go away There is so much fighting.
"Think of (Nate) Diaz, (Tony) Ferguson, there is (Charles) Oliveira, the rematch with me. I just find it absurd to go away. He wasn't just (expletively) on the bus, I think he (expletive) on the chips too. I think he showed his hand, but at the same time there are family problems. So it is what it is.
Nurmagomedov told UFC President Dana White he might be interested in getting back into the sport depending on what happens in the light fights at UFC 257. Aside from McGregor versus Poirier 2, former Bellator Champion Michael Chandler is making his UFC debut against Dan Hooker. There is also top contender Charles Oliveira who scores a dominant win over Tony Ferguson.
McGregor wants the Nurmagomedov rematch, but he doesn't lose sleep over it.
"That's what I'm here for. I would like it," said McGregor. "But if not, then not. I wonder what he's going to say. Like I said, he can only pull wool over someone's eyes for so long. "
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