UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov insists that he will not be returning to the cage to fight Conor McGregor or Dustin Poirier again.
Nurmagomedov retired from competition after a submission win over Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 254 last month. Despite his retirement announcement, he has not yet relinquished the lightweight title, likely due to UFC President Dana White’s optimism that he’ll end up fighting again.
While Nurmagomedov will reportedly meet with White to discuss that possibility in the near future, he is adamant that he will not be ending his retirement to fight Dustin Poirier or Conor McGregor, who are slated to fight in a perceived No. 1 contender fight on January 23, as he holds recent submission wins over both men.
Nurmagomedov addressed these potential matchups at a Wednesday press conference in Moscow, Russia.
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“First, he will probably offer money,” Nurmagomedov said, discussing his upcoming meeting with White and potential rematches with McGregor and Poirier (via Russian reporter Igor Lazorin). “What for? I choked both [Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier]. Why should I do this?”
Nurmagomedov’s 2018 submission win over McGregor topped the highest-selling pay-per-view in UFC history. His 2019 win over Poirier was also a blockbuster. Despite the widespread fan interest in these fights, and the money Nurmagomedov would pocket from accepting them, however, he says he has no interest in either bout from a competitive standpoint.
“Yes, only money. There is no sports interest there,” Nurmagomedov said. “I choked both of them, both were champions, both surrendered to me. As our proverb says: a horse doesn’t run until the donkey wins. Donkeys don`t even take part in competitions where horses run. I have no interest in fighting against these opponents.
“Imagine UFC offered you $100 million,” Nurmagomedov added. “This is already a problem. But there is no sports interest there.”
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