Will the rematch between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor happen in early 2019?
UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov strengthened his chance to be considered as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time when he defeated former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor at UFC 229. Unfortunately, Nurmagomedov engaged in a post-fight brawl that earned him and McGregor indefinite bans.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) is yet to give the final judgment for the UFC 229 incident, but there are already growing speculations about a potential rematch between Nurmagomedov and McGregor. Since failing to reclaim the UFC lightweight belt, “The Notorious” has been calling out “The Eagle” to fight him in the Octagon for the second time. However, Nurmagomedov’s camp doesn’t seem to be interested in an immediate rematch with McGregor.
In a recent interview with Yaroslav Stepanov of Sports 24 (transcribed by TalkSport), Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, discussed the possibility of facing McGregor in the Octagon once again. Abdulmanap revealed that the UFC made a huge offer for them to take the rematch with McGregor. However, they declined the UFC’s request and demanded a bigger payday.
“They offered $15 million (£11.8 million) to rematch with Conor,” Abdulmanap said. “But we want $30 million, guys. $30 million!”
If they are really aiming for the money, accepting a rematch with Conor McGregor is a no-brainer. However, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov strongly believes that there other fighters in the UFC who deserve a shot at the UFC lightweight title besides McGregor. If he will be the one to decide, Abdulmanap prefers Tony Ferguson or Dustin Poirier to be his son’s next opponent.
Aside from the potential rematch with McGregor, Abdulmanap also addressed the rumors that the UFC lightweight champion could soon retire. He denied the rumors and said that Khabib still has three to four fights left before he permanently ends his MMA career. Abdulmanap also revealed his dream of seeing his son defend his title in their homeland, Russia.
“Khabib has three to four battles left. I think that’s enough. How it goes, the Almighty alone knows, but the plans are as follows. I always had this dream – one fight (in Russia.) Wherever, whenever, whoever. For the UFC to give us that. And I will be fighting for that right. We’ve spent almost an eternity (in the sport.) With injuries, and without them, thinking of retiring, thinking of staying, thinking of the health.”
As of now, the UFC hasn’t released an official statement that can confirm or deny Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov’s revelation. However, most mixed martial arts fans would surely love to see Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor face each other again in the Octagon in early 2019.
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