Khabib: McGregor doesn’t deserve a rematch

Updated: June 12, 2019

11:29 AM ET

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov shot down the possibility of a Conor McGregor rematch at a news conference in London on Wednesday morning.

Nurmagomedov, who was promoting his upcoming fight with interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier, questioned why McGregor merited a second chance at the belt.

“The last three years he has only one victory and amateur boxing. How does he deserve a rematch?” Nurmagomedov asked. “He tapped. He begged me, ‘Please don’t kill me.’ Now he’s talking about a rematch?

Tony Ferguson [is] on the line. People who have win streaks [are] on the line. But not the guy who don’t win nothing the last three years. … Right now I’m focused on Sept. 7.”

The title shot must be next for Tony Ferguson

  • Which of his two title belts will Henry Cejudo defend first?

  • Nurmagomedov and Poirier will fight for the unified title on that date in the main event of UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi. Poirier (25-5-1) has won four in a row, most recently a unanimous decision victory against featherweight champion Max Holloway — who moved up in weight — at UFC 236 in April.

    Nurmagomedov, of Dagestan, has not lost in 27 professional fights. He submitted McGregor at UFC 229 last October by fourth-round neck crank. After the fight, Nurmagomedov jumped out of the Octagon and into the crowd to fight a member of McGregor’s team and a brawl ensued. Both fighters were fined and suspended. Nurmagomedov is eligible to return next month.

    The winner of Nurmagomedov vs. Poirier is expected to face Ferguson, who is riding a 12-fight win streak. He defeated Donald Cerrone at UFC 238 this past weekend by second-round TKO. Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have been matched up together on multiple occasions, and each time the bout has fallen through.

    “He deserves a title shot, in my opinion,” Nurmagomedov said. “But when the UFC asked him to fight Max Holloway, he didn’t take that fight. Right now, the problem is because of him. I don’t know why he didn’t take that fight. He took a regular fight with Cowboy [Cerrone]. I don’t understand this.

    “I don’t want to underestimate my opponent, Dustin. He’s a tough challenge for me and right now I don’t want to think about other opponents.”

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