UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov said he is willing to bury the hatchet and reconcile with bitter rival Conor McGregor but claimed that their rematch would not happen soon as he sees the Floyd Mayweather bout as the best option for his next outing.
During a lengthy media scrum in Russia yesterday, the Dagestan pride opened up about his willingness to end his feud with the Irish star and why he prefers the undefeated boxer over any UFC contenders as his next opponent.
— Sherdog by Mandatory (@sherdogdotcom) November 26, 2018
‘Everything is Possible’
Nurmagomedov scored the biggest win of his career when he made a fourth-round submission of the former two-division champion in the main event of UFC 229 last October 6 in Las Vegas. ‘The Eagle’ retained his lightweight belt and improved his record to 27-0.
McGregor, meanwhile, suffered the fourth defeat in his career and his first loss since returning to the cage after a two-year layoff. Speaking at a press conference in Moscow on Monday, Khabib revealed that he was disappointed when his challenger decided to raise the white flag after getting locked in a neck crank.
“When he tapped out I was disappointed. Let me explain why, because when you have a worthy opponent it’s really nice. It feels good to fight your opponent. He had so many thousands of people who flew in and came to support him. You shouldn’t tap out. You should fight to the end. After so much preparation I think it is unworthy. There should be some closure. I had this kind of frustration.”
After a convincing win, a chaotic post-fight brawl broke out inside the T-mobile Arena involving the UFC stars and some of their teammates. While it has added flame to their feud’s flame, the Russian star recently claimed that he has not ruled out the possibility of reconciling with McGregor, who had offended him, his camp, and his family on many occasions.
“Everything is possible. Just as McGregor and I feuded, so we could reconcile. Who are we not to forgive one another when the Almighty forgives us?”
— Sun Sport (@SunSport) November 21, 2018
Legacy and Money
Combat sports fans have been speculating on what is next for the UFC lightweight champ after a successful title-defence against Conor McGregor. Nurmagomedov has called out Floyd Mayweather Jr to a boxing fight. Multiple reports loomed last month that a showdown with Georges St-Pierre is already in the works while UFC President Dana White insisted that Tony Fergusson deserves the next title shot.
But Nurmagomedov made it clear that he does not want to put his lightweight belt on the line as he sets his sights on the bigger prize that is the Mayweather fight. He stressed that this fight would be more interesting as legacy and money is at stake.
“For legacy and in the sense of the money aspect, and in a sporting sense, I think the Mayweather fight is much more interesting. The athletics commission needs to finish up first and then we’ll talk.”
However, none of these potential fights matter as of now as the Nevada State Athletic Commission has put McGregor and Nurmagomedov under indefinite suspension until an investigation into the post-fight fracas is completed. The commission is expected to give its final verdict on both UFC stars on the December 10 hearing. When the dust settles, will the UFC allow Nurmagomedov to lock horns with Mayweather?
(Featured Image Source: Instagram)