Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 20 September 2020

UFC

Khabib Nurmagomedov insists rematch with Conor McGregor 'absolutely not interesting to me'

Lightweight champion meets Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, expected to be in Abu Dhabi

Khabib Nurmagomedov, right, beat Conor McGregor in their October 2018 UFC match marred by a mass brawl after the match. Reuters
Khabib Nurmagomedov, right, beat Conor McGregor in their October 2018 UFC match marred by a mass brawl after the match. Reuters

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov says he’s not interested in a rematch with Conor McGregor for now.

The undefeated Russian, whose professional record stands at 28-0, continues to be linked with a return clash with the Irishman, whom he defeated in their controversial October 2018 bout.

Nurmagomedov has not competed in a little more than a year, but returns next month in the headline bout at UFC 254, where he meets interim champion Justin Gaethje in a title unification encounter. The fight is expected to close out the second Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.

However, as always, McGregor’s name is never too far from Nurmagomedov, despite the former two-division champion's announcement in July that he was retiring from fighting. It marked the third time in four years McGregor claimed he was stepping away from the sport for good.

Nevertheless, Nurmagomedov has again been asked his thoughts on a potential rematch with his old rival.

"It's absolutely not interesting to me," he said in a wide-ranging interview with Russian outlet Sport Express. "Of course, there is always some degree of probability. I have a challenger in front of me [Gaethje]. He's respected, strong and active. I don't even think about [McGregor]."

Nurmagomedov, 31, triumphed against McGregor via a fourth-round submission at UFC 229 in Las Vegas, but the fight was marred by a brawl that broke out immediately afterward. It resulted in heavy fines and suspensions for both fighters.

"Everything that needed to be done, I did on October 6, 2018," Nurmagomedov said. "And what they say in the media, it does not bother me at all. I proved that, as a fighter inside the cage, he could not offer me any resistance."

Updated: September 8, 2020 10:25 AM

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