Conor McGregor will make his long-awaited UFC return in the coming days with a tough rematch against Dustin Poirier. McGregor has kept his focus strictly on making a triumphant return after a long layoff. However, it didn’t take long for him to get back to his usual ways that involved verbally slamming Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Conor McGregor geared up for his UFC return
Following a year hiatus from the octagon, Conor McGregor is set to return on Saturday to fight against Dustin Poirier at UFC 257.
There have been plenty of hurdles along the way to get to this point, but McGregor has an opportunity to add to his illustrious UFC career. His focus remains squarely on taking down Poirier, but he can’t help himself from bringing up Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Although McGregor initially made peace with Khabib’s decision to retire, he’s back to his trash-talking ways.
Conor McGregor bashes Khabib Nurmagomedov to incite another match
Since Khabib Nurmagomedov stepped into retirement last year, there has remained lingering dialogue around his UFC future.
With Conor McGregor geared to step back into the UFC octagon this month, he has ramped up the push for a rematch against Khabib. During a recent interview with Ariel Helwani of ESPN, he voiced that he believes the undefeated fighter is afraid to take him on again. (H/T Bloody Elbow)
“I think he’s afraid to fight me, that’s for damn sure. I don’t blame him. I know exactly what to face. I fought the best of him that night and he fought the worst of me that night. He knows it, I know it, his team knows it.”
“I have the answer to destroy that man,” continued McGregor. “He can pull the wool over people’s eyes only for so long, but it is what it is. I know there’s surrounding things regarding the family. If he’s retired then that’s it I wish him well. But I am who I am and I’m at the top and time will show.”
McGregor’s comments shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as he has tremendous confidence in his ability in the octagon. Since joining the UFC in 2013, he has suffered just two losses, with Khabib being one of them.
McGregor avenged his other lone defeat by topping Nate Diaz in an immediate rematch. However, the fact that he wasn’t able to do that with Khabib looks to be still weighing on him mentally. Ultimately, the entire situation is out of McGregor’s hands.
Will there be a rematch?
Conor McGregor may be up to his usual trash-talking antics to lure Khabib Nurmagomedov out of retirement, but it’s a situation that he holds no control over.
Following Khabib’s win over Justin Gaethje, he made it quite clear that he wouldn’t fight again without his father, who passed away last July due to COVID-19 complications. He voiced that he is honoring his mother’s request to step away from the sport altogether.
Dana White did stir the pot a bit a few days ago by stating that Khabib could be intrigued by facing McGregor or Dustin Poirier, depending on how the fight unfolds. However, the 32-year-old sounds at peace with the decision to retire behind his undefeated record, holding the pound-for-pound No.1, and is the longest-reigning UFC Lightweight champion.
Khabib has accomplished everything he set out to do in his MMA career and has nothing left to prove. The cards are on the table for his return if he wants to, but as of now, McGregor’s trash talk is only just that.