It’s obvious that Conor McGregor is not going to stop chasing a rematch with current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. It was at UFC 229 where Nurmagomedov defeated McGregor by fourth-round submission to improve his perfect record and retain his title.
Following the fight, members of both McGregor and Nurmagomedov’s teams were involved in a post-fight melee which resulted in suspensions for multiple fighters. As rumors swirl around McGregor’s potential return, Nurmagomedov has said he will stay on the sidelines until his teammates are eligible to return later this fall.
During a Q&A session over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, which was attended and filmed by BJPenn.com’s Mike Pendleton, McGregor was asked about a potential rematch with Nurmagomedov. He said because there was ‘dispute’ following the fight, a rematch must happen between the two. That being said McGregor did give respect to his bitter rival as well.
“He’s a formidable opponent, wrestled bears since he was a kid. He’s put a lot of time in his standup work and it was a lot sharper than I anticipated it was going to be. I’ve got to respect that, it was his big moment. It’s easy to do this once, it’s very easy for someone to be given something and to do it just one time. It’s like you put your absolute all into it.”
McGregor would continue on with his thoughts about the loss to Nurmagomedov, admitting that he overlooked the undefeated champion and that’s why the fight didn’t go his way.
“If you do it time after time and year after year, that’s when the motivation kind of dips, that’s when the dedication kind of lacks, and that’s when people creep up,” he said. “That’s what I feel has happened here, I didn’t give him his respect, I marched forward, I didn’t give a sh*t, I got caught with that overhand. If I switched on, I would not get caught with that overhand in any form of combat. I’m very confident, very eager, very in shape, let’s keep it going.
“Imagine almost dropping someone cause he almost got me, but he didn’t drop me. I got to my feet, threw shots, threw a knee, and he shot for a takedown. Imagine almost dropping someone with a picture-perfect shot, a picture-perfect punch, and then shooting for the legs. You almost got the fight done and you shoot for the legs, stand up and fight.”
As he continued, McGregor talked about the ‘dispute’ that followed the fight and since he feels it is not settled, he expects the rematch to happen.
“When there’s dispute, there must be a rematch. There was dispute in my last one, I slapped his brother and his cousin on top of the cage, he [Nurmagomedov] tried to jump out and run. This is not over, so there’s dispute, there has to be a rematch.”
Conor McGregor seems pretty set on getting a rematch with the current lightweight champion and sounds eager to settle what he feels is a dispute between the two sides.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/19/2019.