It sounds like Khabib Nurmagomedov is open to a rematch with Conor McGregor — inside a boxing ring.
Nurmagomedov’s father, Abdulmanap, revealed such recently during an interview with the Russian news outlet Izvestia.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the UFC stars will slap on a pair of boxing gloves anytime soon, or that an MMA rematch between the two is off the table. But it’s an interesting note given that Nurmagomedov has long been known for his grappling skills, while McGregor, who boxed Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August 2017, often is lauded for his striking ability.
“As for the fight against Conor according to the rules of boxing, we are interested in such a fight,” Abdulmanap told Izvestia, as transcribed by the Irish Mirror. “Khabib showed that he is able to win the best drummers of mixed martial arts. He talked about this before, but few believed it. However, after bright victories over Michael Johnson, Edson Barbosa and Conor, (people) begin to believe.”
Nurmagomedov successfully defended his UFC lightweight title against McGregor at UFC 229 on Oct. 6. The champ won handily via submission, improving his undefeated record to 27-0, but a boxing match obviously would present a new set of challenges — something Nurmagomedov is prepared for, according to his dad.
“Nurmagomedov is able to do it in the boxing ring,” Abdulmanap told Izvestia, as transcribed by the Irish Mirror. “Khabib has all the skills to win by the rules of boxing. One of the key skills can be called endurance.
“I recall a five-round fight with Al Iaquinta, in which Khabib showed his willingness to fight in absolutely any manifestation, using everything from a light left jab to control in the stalls. I want to note that the fight with Al Iaquinta was of great importance for us, the champion belt was at stake and it was important to hold the meeting coolly, taking our own. What we did.”
There’s also been talk since Nurmagomedov’s victory over McGregor last month that a boxing match with Mayweather could be a possibility. But Mayweather might or might not have his own thing going on. And there’s been no indication that UFC president Dana White would like to explore a boxing match featuring Nurmagomedov and/or a fight between him and Mayweather.
Basically, don’t hold your breath on any of this coming to fruition. The most likely scenario seems like a rematch between Nurmagomedov and McGregor inside the octagon, although that might not even be in the cards given how one-sided the first fight was despite its insane build-up.
Thumbnail photo via Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports Images
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