Conor McGregor left no doubt: He wants a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Neither McGregor nor Nurmagomedov has fought since the latter won their first showdown at UFC 229. But McGregor sounds adamant about returning to the octagon despite announcing his retirement from MMA back in March, and he clearly has Nurmagomedov in his crosshairs, especially given the post-fight chaos that erupted last October.
“At the end of the day, I landed the final blow of the night, right on his brother’s eye socket,” McGregor said in an interview with self-help guru Tony Robbins that was taped in early April and released recently, according to ESPN.com. “Although the match didn’t go my way, the fight went my way. And trust me when I tell you, Tony, this war is not over. If this fight does not happen again, if it does not get reset, it’s on them. They’re running away. I’m here for the fight and here for the rematch.”
Nurmagomedov defeated McGregor via submission in the fourth round of their much-anticipated bout to retain the UFC lightweight championship. The action hardly stopped there, though, as Nurmagomedov subsequently jumped over the cage and attacked McGregor’s corner, leading to a huge brawl that resulted in discipline for several parties.
It’s unclear whether the two UFC stars will square off again. Nurmagomedov is expected to fight Dustin Poirier at some point this year, and McGregor, as mentioned, has kicked around retirement.
If they do, the build-up and the match should be extremely fascinating, for McGregor believes a foot injury, a defensive mindset in training camp and “lapses in commitment” might’ve put him behind the eight ball the last time around. He’s still as confident as ever.
“I gave him my respect. Congrats, he won the match,” McGregor said. “Let’s see what happens next time. I’m confident we’ll get it again. Let’s go again. I am humble in victory or defeat, no matter what. It’s a sport at the end of the day. A gruesome sport, but a sport.”
Let’s see whether UFC president Dana White meets both fighters’ demands.
Thumbnail photo via Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports Images