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Khabib Nurmagomedov claims he will fight Conor McGregor on his own terms and not per Dana White's whims and fancies

Anurag Mitra
ANALYST
News
Modified 05 Feb 2020, 17:57 IST

UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor
UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor

UFC President Dana White remains adamant about booking the rematch between reigning lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor but there is one problem - the undefeated Dagestani isn't willing to budge.

Nurmagomedov recently attended a charity event in Kaspiysk, Russia where he addressed White's desire to book the rematch if the Russian manages to get past Tony Ferguson at UFC 249. Nurmagomedov said that right now, he is solely focused on beating Ferguson in April and he clarified that he won't fight McGregor just because White wants him to. (h/t MMA Fighting)

“I have a fight on April 18. I have a very serious fight. For the past month and a half I’ve been consistently training day and night. I’ve gotten myself in good shape, to where I’m supposed to be 70 days before a fight, I feel great. What’ll happen after a fight - no one knows. I don’t worry about it, that’s what they want." (translation via RT Sport)

Nurmagomedov said that the fact that people are rooting for a rematch between him and McGregor comes as a surprise to him given how dominating he was during his fight against the Irishman.

“I’m surprised that people even question me about a rematch. It seems that people want to continue the festivities after that fight. Everyone saw what happened in the Octagon. I controlled the fight every step of the way. I did everything I wanted to him, he even gave up. How can we even discuss a rematch? We can only talk about continuing the festivities and making money. The question is: do I want that? I am focused on Tony Ferguson.”

Nurmagomedov can be many things but definitely not a sell out. There were rumors that a Saudi Arabian organization was willing to pay the Russian fighter $100M to fight McGregor in Saudi Arabia but Khabib doesn't care about the money as much as he does about his legacy.

“Why do I need that kind of money, there are so many organizations. There’s not only football for the blind, there’s Sambo and other sports. Let [the UFC] give it to them, if they don’t know what to do with the money. But giving me $100M to beat up that idiot again? I don’t think that’s rational.”
Published 05 Feb 2020, 17:57 IST
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