Khabib Nurmagomedov doesn’t seem to be on the same page with the Ultimate Fighting Championship when it comes to his future plans.
While UFC president Dana White has suggested that Conor McGregor would get a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov if the Dagestani champion is victorious against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249, “The Eagle” seems much less interested in that possibility. First and foremost, Nurmagomedov is focused on defeating Ferguson, the true No. 1 contender in the lightweight division.
The champion addressed the situation at a press conference following a charity event in Kaspiysk, Russia.
“I have a fight on April 18,” Nurmagomedov said (translation via RT Sport). “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.
“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 defeated McGregor by fourth-round submission in their initial meeting at UFC 229 in October 2018. The pay-per-view is believed to be the most successful in promotion history in terms of buys, and the post-fight melee that ensued after Nurmagomedov’s victory only served to further interest in a rematch. Even when a figure of $100 million was floated for that rematch, Nurmagomedov balked at the notion.
“Why do I need that kind of money? There are so many organization.. There’s not only football for the blind, there’s sambo and other sports,” Nurmagomedov said. “Let [the UFC] give it to them, if they don’t know what to do with the money. But giving me $100 million to beat up that idiot again? I don’t think that’s rational.”