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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  • Khabib expects Ferguson fight to be scrapped again, Masvidal waits in the wings Khabib expects Ferguson fight to be scrapped again, Masvidal waits in the wings

    Khabib Nurmagomedov is anticipating his proposed fight with Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 will be postponed for a fifth time as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

    However, the unbeaten UFC lightweight champion claimed promoters are trying to schedule a fight for Ferguson "with or without him".

    Nurmagomedov, who has a 28-0 record, had been due to face Ferguson in New York on April 18 but the event cannot be held at Barclays Center due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Now back in his native Russia, Nurmagomedov revealed he had been told it was "99 per cent" that he would still face Ferguson in Abu Dhabi, but now believes the UFC are planning the card without one of their most high-profile fighters.

    "Now I am hearing that they are looking to organise it with or without me. Okay, go ahead," Nurmagomedov said on an Instagram live chat.

    "Everyone should follow the laws. I am not against it, I know that fighters need to feed their families and pay their bills. I know how hard it is for the fighter. Unless they fight they aren't getting any money.

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     

    A post shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) on

    “I am even hearing that they are looking for an opponent for Tony, because he is in the States and I am here in Russia. But I am here not on my own will."

    He added: "The UFC told me that this fight 100 per cent isn't happening in the USA, and even if it's not happening in the Emirates it will happen on this side of Atlantic. We discussed everything with the UFC. 

    "Now I don't really know what's going on. It's really hard to train and cut your weight when the whole world is locked down and you don't know what you are preparing for. But it's not the first time I face obstacles in my career."

    On the previous four occasions Nurmagomedov and Ferguson had been due to meet in the octagon, health or fitness issues forced cancellations.

    Ferguson accused Nurmagomedov of using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to avoid him, writing on Twitter: "April 18 Is Getting Close @TeamKhabib & You're Hiding In Russia.

    "Travel Bans Will Not Prevent Me From Whoopin' That Ass. Don't Use It As An Excuse To Back Out. You Have Been Sent Many Locations, Send Us 1."

    According to a report from ESPN, Ferguson has been offered an alternative fight with Justin Gaethje as an alternative option.

    Welterweight Jorge Masvidal, who is one of the leading contenders in the weight class above Ferguson, also appeared to make his availability known by tweeting "April 18 I'm free #theresurrection".

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