Former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor has reacted to the recent retirement of his arch rival, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
McGregor and Nurmagomedov fought in 2018, in the main event of UFC 229, which went down as the highest-selling pay-per-view in the company’s history. Nurmagomedov won that fight by fourth-round submission, dashing McGregor’s dreams of reclaiming the UFC lightweight title.
In the lead-up to that fight, McGregor and Nurmagomedov developed one of the most heated rivalries in MMA history. That rivalry continued after the fight, as the pair have exchanged a ceaseless stream of trash talk in interviews and on social media, and have frequently been linked to a rematch.
Given their rivalry, it should come as no surprise that McGregor didn’t have anything nice to say about Nurmagomedov’s retirement.
Speaking to Oscar Willis of The Mac Life, McGregor admitted he was “baffled” by Nurmagomedov’s decision to retire, but no surprised.
“How you could walk away at this stage is baffling to me but to each to their own,” McGregor told the The Mac Life when speaking about Nurmagomedov’s decision to call it a career. “There’s so many amazing fights out there. Even the carry-on around the Tony [Ferguson] situation, like 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. It is what it is. We carry on.”
Conor McGregor is currently gearing up for a lightweight fight with Dustin Poirier, which will headline the UFC 257 card on January 23. The bout will be a rematch of a 2014 featherweight fight, which McGregor won by first-round knockout.
The bout will be the Irishman’s first since he knocked out Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in just 40 seconds in January, 2020. While Nurmagomedov is currently retired, the expectation is that the UFC will try to book a rematch between him and McGregor if the Irishman is victorious against Poirier.
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