“He’s focused on Khabib. He wants the Khabib fight. He will wait for that. ”
UFC President Dana White spoke the words that every Conor McGregor fan wanted to hear this week. ‘The Notorious’ Irishman wants to take revenge on Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov after a defeat of Las Vegas by the Russian in 2018.
Yet Khabib’s opinion is one of resignation – the undefeated reigning UFC lightweight champion has even rejected the option of a $ 100 million fight against McGregor in Saudi Arabia.
Conor McGregor (L) and Khabib Nurmagomedov (R) are stuck in an impasse about a lucrative rematch
‘Why do I need that kind of money, there are so many other organizations [who would benefit from that kind of money]? ” said the Russian.
“Not just football for the blind, there are Sambo and other sports – let the UFC give it to them if they don’t know what to do with the money.
“But give me $ 100 million to beat that idiot up again?” I don’t think that is rational. ”
Here is an impasse between two very stubborn teams – despite Khabib’s claim that he does not want to fight the Irishman, McGregor only has eyes for ‘The Eagle’ and a rematch also has the support of the general public.
Khabib (above) said McGregor is not worth fighting again after his win over the Irishman in 2018
But McGregor is floating after last January’s rapid win against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone
McGregor’s desire to take on Khabib is fueled by his 40-second win in January over Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in Vegas after a year away from the Octagon.
The quick knockout was a huge statement, showing that he had come a long way since the Khabib defeated two years ago.
Although McGregor has shown his credentials to the world, Khabib has much more on his plate in 2020.
In April, Khabib will face the American Tony Ferguson (above) – who has an unbeaten run of 12 fights
The Russian could also have a Saudi collision with Floyd Mayweather (left) in 2020
The Russian has a long-awaited confrontation in April with Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in Brooklyn, with Khabib’s unbeaten record against the American’s 12 consecutive wins since 2013.
With his lightweight title on the line, Khabib naturally has his full attention on the competition in April and while his manager Ali Abdelaziz plans fights past the Ferguson collision – those plans don’t include McGregor.
So although McGregor thinks he’s ready to tackle Khabib again, the Russian is against it.
Abdelaziz even went so far that the Saudi Arabian influencers would rather see a $ 100 million fight against Floyd Mayweather – who defeated McGregor in the Las Vegas boxing ring in 2017.
UFC president and maker Dana White supports a rematch of McGregor-Khabib
… but Khabib’s manager Ali Abdelaziz has rejected and criticized McGregor and his team
Abdelaziz said: “Some people in Saudi Arabia have met me. They want to pay $ 100 million to fight Conor in Saudi Arabia. ”
“They want to pay $ 100 million for Khabib to fight Floyd in Saudi Arabia. It doesn’t really matter, I think you’ll see Khabib vs Floyd more likely.
“My advice to Conor is” hey bitch, go and fight Justin Gaethje. “
This is an important point. Khabib simply thinks McGregor should earn his title photo, just like everyone else.
He would have to face the best contenders in the division the hard way instead of getting a free pass after defeating a 36-year-old with 14 defeats on his record.
Until McGregor makes a convincing argument for the rematch, instead of his words, with his fists, it seems that the stalemate will continue and Khabib will bury his heels.
Although a fight between Khabib and Mayweather would be equally entertaining for the public, it lacks the bitter rivalry that exists between the Russian and McGregor and there is an appetite there from fans.
The couple have been calling each other on social media since 2015 before their bickering bubbled into a UFC collision three years later.
The feud between McGregor and Khabib dates from 2015 when the couple bickered on Twitter
The jibes and insults lasted years before a 2018 fight was set up, which Khabib won
The insults and jibes became physical, even in the press conferences, before they became uncivilized after the fight when the couple refused to shake hands after the victory of Khabib.
But Khabib – in addition to Abdelaziz – used their rivalry in a different way in the midst of a conversation about a rematch, using jibes and criticism to indicate how inferior McGregor is to him instead of enjoying the challenge of a rematch .
Abdelaziz said to ESPN this week: “The only chance [that] fight [between Nurmagomedov and McGregor] could happen is on the street. ”
The 2018 press conference between Khabib and McGregor led to even more arguments
The couple then had to be divorced during the stand-off the day before the fight in Las Vegas
“[McGregor would] have to do something spectacular. He’s damn you see. Conor McGregor is one of the biggest stars because he is one of the biggest bastards. ”
This is an unusual problem for the UFC, usually the money talks and every man has his price. But Khabib is a devout Muslim and is never motivated by money. The only case that will convince him of a rematch is an athletic … is there evidence that the result could be different next time?
There is every chance that McGregor will advance his claim before Khabib enters the Octagon against Ferguson, and the ‘Notorious’ has talked extensively about wanting to keep busy with three or four fights this year.
If he continues to win and does so against legitimate opposition, no matter what division, the demand for a rematch will grow.
Given all the bad blood, the phenomenal numbers involved (their first fight was the biggest in UFC history) and the popularity of both men, it seems a matter of when and not if the second fight happens.
Khabib must find motivation to fight McGregor again, given his dominance in the first game
The UFC is proud to take on the battles that everyone wants to see and White has spoken with enormous frustration about the boxing world when the best rarely enter into the best and negotiations are painfully slow. It is possible that Khabib will be stripped of his title if he refuses to take up the challenge, but there is little chance that it will happen.
Ultimately, the chance to start the discussion and silence everyone by beating McGregor twice can be tempting for the champion. He has the toughest test of his career against Ferguson, but even if he loses, the rematch with McGregor will still be there, whether this year or later.
There is plenty of work to do and undoubtedly more twists and turns, but all roads lead to Khabib vs McGregor II.