From the sounds of it, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is open to a rematch with his last opponent, Conor McGregor, who he submitted at UFC 229 in October. Before this prospective blockbuster can occur, however, the champ wants to see the Irish star put in some work and earn it.
“Have to deserve. I have to keep winning, he have to deserve, and that’s it,” Nurmagomedov told BT Sport (via MMA News). “It’s gonna happen. But right now, I’m not interested in this fight. For what? He tapped. If it was like we go all distance or if it was a close fight, maybe. But right now, I finished this business. If you want a new business, deserve this.”
UFC President Dana White has been quite open to the idea of a rematch between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor, and understandably so, given that the pair’s first fight shattered a number of financial records for the UFC.
That being said, Nurmagomedov reminds that the decision to book a rematch is not Dana White’s alone.
“Right now, not only Dana make decision. I’m here, too,” Nurmagomedov said. “They have to listen to me. Because right now, I’m champion. And I know what I deserve, I know what opponents deserve. Right now, Dustin and Tony on the line. Other guys? Nobody deserve. Even if you talk about people who deserve, Conor is not on the list. He have to deserve.
“Last time he win, 2016. We talk about fight for the title, being best in the world. Please deserve. Come back and fight with someone and deserve this. No problem. But right now, a lot of tough and good opponents who have good win streak, they deserve.”
Do you think we’ll ever see a rematch between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/17/2019.