Khabib Nurmagomedov uninterested in fighting ‘scumbag’ Conor McGregor

HOUSTON — A blockbuster rematch between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov does not appear imminent.

Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, told ESPN on Saturday that Nurmagomedov remains uninterested in fighting McGregor again. Nurmagomedov finished McGregor via fourth-round submission at UFC 229 on Oct. 6, 2018.

McGregor’s 40-second TKO win over Donald Cerrone last month at UFC 246 has not affected Nurmagomedov’s mindset, Abdelaziz said. Nurmagomedov, the UFC lightweight champion, has said previously that McGregor would have to win many more fights before getting a shot at the title. Abdelaziz said Saturday that he doesn’t think a second fight will ever happen unless it’s outside the Octagon.

“The only chance this fight could happen is in the street,” Abdelaziz said Saturday at UFC 247 at Toyota Center. “[McGregor would] have to do something spectacular. He’s s—, you understand? … Conor McGregor is one of the biggest stars, because he’s one of the biggest scumbags.”

There are still plenty of hard feelings from Nurmagomedov’s camp about the lead-up to and conclusion of UFC 229. McGregor, the former UFC lightweight and featherweight champ, was arrested for throwing a dolly through a bus window, targeting Nurmagomedov in April 2018. That incident was in retaliation for Nurmagomedov slapping McGregor’s teammate, Artem Lobov.

In the promotion for UFC 229, McGregor brought up topics like Nurmagomedov’s Islamic faith, Dagestan culture and his family. He also talked about Abdelaziz’s family. After the first fight, there was a brawl involving McGregor, Nurmagomedov and both of their teams. Even since that fight more than a year ago, McGregor has mocked Nurmagomedov’s wife on social media.

“Let’s be real,” Abdelaziz said. “We don’t like this guy. We’re never gonna like him. Probably every time we see him, there’s gonna be problems. He said things about family, things about religion, things about race. He crossed the line. … You can’t cross the line with [Khabib].”

Nurmagomedov will defend his title against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 on April 18 in Brooklyn. If he wins, the UFC is hoping to put together a rematch between Nurmagomedov and McGregor, according to UFC president Dana White. However, Abdelaziz said Nurmagomedov believes McGregor should fight someone else, a lightweight contender like Justin Gaethje (also an Abdelaziz client).

“Conor needs to earn things,” Abdelaziz said. “He was a champion. He needs to earn things. Khabib really, really wants to make him earn it. It doesn’t matter, because what he says. We have a really, really tough fight. Everybody forgets about Tony, dismissing him. Khabib has been training for three months straight and he has two more months.”

As lucrative as Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor 2 would be — White has predicted it would be the biggest fight in UFC history — Abdelaziz said there is no financial motivation involved for Nurmagomedov.

“Listen, there’s a lot of money for Khabib if Khabib fights Conor,” Abdelaziz said. “… But everything is not about money. Especially with Khabib.”

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