UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is targeting three massive bouts before he marches to retirement. Apparently, the list does not include a rematch with Conor McGregor…
Nurmagomedov spoke to Submission Radio in Australia recently and revealed his fighting plans before he hangs up his gloves. While many fans are anticipating a second instalment to his rivalry with “The Notorious,” Khabib has already ruled out any possibility of a rematch after their first encounter went lopsided.
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor first met in the main event of UFC 229. The Irish star returned to the cage after a two-year hiatus only to be submitted by the defending champion in the fourth round.
Although the fight turned into a one-sided affair, fans are still expecting that a rematch would happen between the promotion’s best grappler and best striker. Also to consider are the record-shattering feats the fight made as it became the highest pay-per-view buys and the second largest gate in UFC history.
UFC President Dana White also expressed his interest for a return fight, hoping that the promotion can book the lightweight pair this year. However, Khabib himself does not think his rival deserves another crack at the 155-belt.
Visiting Australia for the next leg of his promotional tour, Nurmagomedov appeared on the country’s MMA show, Submission Radio, and shared his thoughts about his next move after a successful title-defense at UFC 229. For the second time, he shot down possibilities of facing McGregor in a rematch, insisting that he dominated him in their first meeting.
“If you talk about it, my father thinks different, Javier [Mendez] thinks different, my management thinks different. But when the athletic commission makes a decision, we’re gonna sit with my old team and make a decision what I’m gonna do next.
“But right now, if you guys ask me, of course, he [Conor McGregor does] not deserve a title shot rematch, Conor, because he lose, he tapped. It wasn’t a close fight. I dominated him everywhere in every aspect, and I beat him. Like a told, I smashed him. Why we need a rematch?”
So what’s next for the undefeated lightweight champion?
Nurmagomedov said he is setting his sights on three major bouts that could build his legacy as the greatest athlete of all-time. The 30-year old Russian wants to lock horns with Georges St-Pierre, a fighter considered as one of the MMA GOATs, first-ranked title contender Tony Fergusson, and boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“Why not maybe St-Pierre, Ferguson and Mayweather? It will be these three guys and we can retire and become the greatest athlete of all time. Georges St-Pierre is a very big name. I like an opponent who is a very tough opponent and he’s a little bit bigger than me. If we’re gonna fight, we have to fight at 155 lbs, because 170 lbs is his weight and he’s gonna be a little bit bigger than me.”
“If I’m gonna compete with young lions in boxing, of course, it’s gonna be very tough for me. Even if you talk about (Saul) Canelo (Alvarez) or (Gennady) Golovkin, these guys are dangerous. But Mayweather now is old, 41, 42 years old. You know, but he’s a very big name. If we can take very big fish, why not?”
Watch the full interview in the video below:
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/Conor McGregor and YouTube/Submission Radio)