UFC 229 will forever be known as one of the most infamous fight cards in MMA history. And just from the massive revenue it can potentially bring in, a rematch between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor makes a lot of sense.
But for McGregor, it is all about settling the score - particularly the bad blood that has built up between him, his corner men and Team Khabib.
“When there’s dispute, there must be a rematch,” McGregor said in a recent Q&A Session (transcript via BJPenn.com). “There was dispute in my last one, I slapped his brother and his cousin on top of the cage, he [Nurmagomedov] tried to jump out and run. This is not over, so there’s dispute, there has to be a rematch.”
McGregor was outwrestled for almost the entirety of the fight, but another notable moment was when he was dropped with a clean overhand right in the second round. But “The Notorious” is attributing it to him showing a lack of respect for Khabib’s striking game.
“That’s what I feel has happened here, I didn’t give him his respect, I marched forward, I didn’t give a sh-t, I got caught with that overhand,” the Irishman explained. “If I switched on, I would not get caught with that overhand in any form of combat. I’m very confident, very eager, very in shape, let’s keep it going.”
“Imagine almost dropping someone ‘cause he almost got me, but he didn’t drop me,” he continued. “I got to my feet, threw shots, threw a knee, and he shot for a takedown. Imagine almost dropping someone with a picture-perfect shot, a picture-perfect punch, and then shooting for the legs. You almost got the fight done and you shoot for the legs - stand up and fight.”
Ultimately, McGregor gave credit where credit is due, which is why he intends to run things back a second time.
“He’s a formidable opponent, wrestled bears since he was a kid,” McGregor said of Khabib. “He’s put a lot of time in his standup work and it was a lot sharper than I anticipated it was going to be. I’ve got to respect that, it was his big moment.
“It’s easy to do this once, it’s very easy for someone to be given something and to do it just one time. It’s like you put your absolute all into it.”
McGregor says he is currently in talks with the UFC for a possible fight in July.