UFC

Khabib on Conor McGregor rematch rumours: $100m to beat up that idiot again? That's not rational

By Sports Desk February 05, 2020

Conor McGregor's hopes of a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov may have been dashed after his rival responded to reports of a second bout by saying "giving me $100 million for me to beat up that idiot again? I don't think that’s rational".

Khabib scored a convincing submission victory in their first showdown at UFC 229 in October 2018, a night that was marred by an ugly brawl between the two warring camps in the aftermath of their fight.

McGregor spent 15 months out of the Octagon following the defeat before returning to earn a first-round knockout over Donald Cerrone last month and the Irishman has spoken of his desire for another shot at unbeaten lightweight king Khabib.

This week, Khabib's manager Ali Abdelaziz told TMZ that Saudi Arabia would be willing to stump up a whopping $100m to host a Khabib fight if McGregor or Floyd Mayweather Jr were his opponent.

However, Khabib – who is scheduled to defend his lightweight belt against Tony Ferguson on April 18 – appeared uninterested in facing off with McGregor again.

"Why do I need that kind of money? There are so many organisations for example…there's not only football for the blind, there's Sambo and other sports," he said when speaking to reporters in his native Dagestan. 

"Let [UFC] give it to them, if they don't know what to do with the money. But giving me $100 million for me to beat up that idiot again? I don't think that's rational.

"What'll happen after a fight – no one knows. I don't worry about it. I'm surprised people even question me about a rematch.

"It seems that people want to continue the festivities after the fight. Everyone saw what happened in the octagon. I controlled the fight every step of the way.

"I did everything I wanted to do to him – he even gave up. How can we discuss a rematch? We can only talk about continuing festivities and making money."

Khabib said his only priority for the time being is focusing on Ferguson.

"I have a fight on April 18," he added. "A very serious fight. For the past month and a half I've been consistently training day and night. 

"I've gotten myself in good shape, to where I'm supposed to be 70 days before a fight. I feel great."

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    "By the end of that match, Rafa's mind was scrambled eggs."

    Craig O'Shannessy was part of Dustin Brown's coaching team when the German qualifier sensationally eliminated two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal at the All England Club in 2015.

    Through numbers, patterns and data, Australian pioneer O'Shannessy orchestrated the gameplan to send Nadal packing in the second round almost five years ago.

    "After the match, I described that as organised chaos," O'Shannessy told Stats Perform News prior to the Australian Open in January. "A lot of times with Dustin it's pure chaos. Sometimes he wins with it, sometimes he loses. What gelled was we organised his chaos so that people didn't know him, would've looked at that thinking all hell is breaking loose. Whereas I'm watching the match going 'he is running the patterns that we talked about perfectly'.

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    Struff – with mastermind O'Shannessy in his box – threatened to derail Djokovic's quest for a record-extending eighth Australian Open title before the defending champion fought hard to survive in the opening round in Melbourne, where he eventually hoisted the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup aloft.

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    At the forefront of analytics in tennis, how further can data go?

    "Still a long away. We're only scratching the surface," O'Shannessy said. "There's a lot of numbers and data that we see but still don't know exactly what it means. The next five years will be incredibly important and we'll know way more than we do now. We're just at the start of the journey."

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    20th minute – A cute lay-off to Julian Baumgartlinger ended with Wendell in a promising position on the left but the full-back's cross was blocked.

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    24th minute – Charles Aranguiz's lofted pass looking for Leverkusen's star man ran through to Manuel Neuer. Within a minute, Gnabry thrashed beyond Lukas Hradecky to double Bayern's lead.

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    42nd minute – The offside flag meant it would not have counted in any case, but Amiri delaying his cross, Havertz falling over and then regaining his footing before the ball failed to reach him summed up a half to forget. Amiri made way for Kevin Volland at the interval.

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