Following his big win at UFC 229, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s team has been searching for who his next opponent will be. Now, they might have found their guy, and the new opponent is the same as the old one: Conor McGregor.
Speaking recently with Russian news outlet Izvestia (h/t Irish Mirror and Bloody Elbow) Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, raised the possibility of rematching McGregor, but instead of in the cage, doing so under boxing rules.
“As for the fight against Conor under boxing rules, this is a fight we are interested in,” Abdulmanap said. “Khabib showed that he is able to beat the best strikers of mixed martial arts. He said this before, but few believed it. However, after strong victories over Michael Johnson, Edson Barboza, and Conor, people begin to believe.”
Going into their fight at UFC 229, the dynamics of the bout were clear – McGregor was the striker and Nurmagomedov was the wrestler – and in the first round, things played out as such, with Khabib taking down ‘Notorious’ and controlling him the entire time. But in the second round, Nurmagomedov feinted low and cracked McGregor with an overhand right that dropped the former double champ to his butt. His success on the feet had Khabib pursuing a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather but with that bout proving difficult to make happen, it seems ‘The Eagle’ may be ready to settle for second best and his father is confident they can win under a limiting ruleset.
“Nurmagomedov is able to do it in the boxing ring. Khabib has all the skills to win by the rules of boxing. One of the key skills can be called endurance. I remember his five round fight with Iaquinta, in which Khabib showed his willingness to fight in absolutely any area, using everything from a light left jab to control on the ground. I want to note that the fight with Iaquinta was of great importance for us, there was a title belt at stake and it was important to keep the bout calm, and take the win. Which we did.”
This could be music to McGregor’s ears who, following his loss, has already made it clear that he would like an immediate rematch. But though a rematch between the two is arguably the biggest fight the UFC can make right now – especially given the aftermath of their fight – the way Nurmagomedov dismantled McGregor makes an immediate rematch harder to promote. Plus, this might be one of the few ways for the UFC to actually pay Nurmagomedov his new asking price.
NEW UFCPI. UFC building $13 million Performance Institute in Shanghai.
Good signing. Jiu-jitsu standout A.J. Agazarm signs with Bellator MMA.
The MMA Hour.
Bellator 209 highlights.
Cage Warriors 100 promo.
This is the future of Zuffa boxing right here.
The Co-Main Event. Discussing UFC Argentina, Bellator, and UFC China.
Picking a fight.
You don’t want to put on a show for your own people ?
— Nasrat Haqparast (@Nasrat_mma) November 20, 2018
Fight on tape delay after over a day, boxing and other MMA events live at the same time, and still almost had double the numbers of the “face of Bellator”. Also did more than several others, with less than half the promotional push. ♂️ https://t.co/FYEDfXAu4Z
— Patricio Freire (@PatricioPitbull) November 20, 2018
Maybe they just cut y’all.
What I want to know is why are they saying potential flyweight closing now? And I got cut , so what does that mean ? 4 other people don’t have there jobs too
— Jarred Brooks (@The_monkeygod) November 19, 2018
This is a cool stat until you look at who is in second place. . .
This is the greatest MMA fight possible right now.
Only pussies cheat in this game. Scared they can’t compete with what God gave them. Work hard. Work smart. And stop taking short cuts! pic.twitter.com/Bf2ZrsOC3m
— Aljamain Sterling (@FunkMaster_UFC) November 19, 2018
Roberto Soldic (14-3) vs. Vinicius Bohrer (16-6); KSW 46, Dec. 1.
Gegard Mousasi (45-6-2) vs. Rafael Lovato Jr. (9-0); Bellator 214, Jan. 26.
Khabib wanted to box Conor feels like he’s definitely biting off more than he can chew. He’d still probably do better than Conor would grappling him but this just seems like a bad idea.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
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