From the moment Khabib Nurmagomedov submitted Conor McGregor in the UFC 229 main event, there was talk of an immediate rematch between the two stars. The fight was particularly competitive, but it was big. So big that a rematch would almost certainly be a massive financial success. And of course, McGregor’s fight-altering power — and the ever present possibility of a knockout that it creates — will always make his fights interesting.
In the end, of course, Nurmagomedov has gone another direction. The undefeated UFC lightweight champion will defend his title against interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi this September.
Apparently, Khabib Nurmagomedov and his team decided to take on Dustin Poirier instead of Conor McGregor, simply because McGregor didn’t beg for the rematch enough.
At least, that’s what his manager Ali Abdelaziz is claiming.
“McGregor didn’t beg enough,” the manager told TMZ. “He didn’t beg enough. He faked a broken hand. He doesn’t want to fight. He’s an Instagram model, like I said before. He wants to keep himself relevant.
“Khabib said it [himself],” Abdelaziz continued. “He’s going to change his face, he’s going to change his mind, and you’ve seen it, [McGregor] is like a crazy man. I doubt he’ll ever fight again.
“We don’t care about him. We finished him. Khabib finished him in the fourth round, dropped him with a punch. He’s supposed to be the Muhammad Ali of MMA. We showed he’s just hype. McGregor was just hype.”
While Abdelaziz claims there’s no chance of a Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor rematch at present, he did acknowledge it’s possible down the road — but only if McGregor picks up some wins and does some grovelling.
“[He needs to] get maybe two or three wins, and get on his knees and beg,” he said. “Right now, Khabib is the boss.”
Do you think we’ll ever see a rematch between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/5/2019.