News of Conor McGregor’s plea deal on Thursday makes him eligible to fight again, and also without travel restrictions. That news was not lost on McGregor’s lightweight rival, Khabib Nurmagomedov, who promptly called for a title fight against the former divisional champion.
The two have a storied history together, with McGregor’s April arrest stemming from an assault allegedly intended for Nurmagomedov himself after the undefeated Dagestani’s altercation with McGregor’s teammate Artem Lobov days earlier.
With McGregor no longer facing jail time or felony charges, Nurmagomedov was quick to issue an official challenge:
"Glad that he stayed out of jail, because I wouldn’t be able to punish him in that case,” Nurmagomedov told MMA Junkie on Thursday. “Now he needs to bring his Irish team to MSG in November and finish our business."
Both “The Eagle” and “The Notorious” won their lightweight belts in New York City, with McGregor taking the title from Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden back in 2016 and Nurmagomedov defeating Al Iaquinta for the strap in Brooklyn at UFC 223 in April.
McGregor’s fighting career was unceremoniously put on hold following his arrest, and the Irishman hasn’t competed in MMA since the Alvarez fight two years ago. “The Notorious” has been living the high life after cashing out in a big money boxing bout against legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. last summer, but hasn’t fought in any capacity since.
UFC 229, which is set to take place on Oct. 6, has been rumored to be headlined by a McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov lightweight title fight, but it’s still too early for any official announcement given McGregor’s plea deal, which was accepted on Thursday.