Conor McGregor listed a whole list of possible opponents upon his UFC return, but the Irishman is most interested in seeking redemption for his crushing submission defeat to reigning lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229.
Speaking to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani in a recent interview, ‘The Notorious’ stated his desire for a championship rematch with Nurmagomedov, who is undefeated at 27-0.
“In my return fight, I want my world title back. I want that redemption,” McGregor said, per MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin. “The camp was incorrect. Knowing the commitment that I had in that camp. Knowing the performance that I put on.”
McGregor, the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champ, then went on to accuse Khabib of ‘running’ from him in the opening round of their headlining clash at UFC 229. Nurmagomedov, 30, dominated McGregor for the most of contest and eventually submitted the Dubliner with a neck crank in the fourth round.
“He ran away for that first round. He didn’t throw a punch. He shot for the legs before he threw a punch,” McGregor said. “The first round, I should have been talking to Herb [Dean]. He says he was talking to me in the cage. There wasn’t a whisper out of him until he ended up in the dominant position and the only reason he ended up in that dominant position was because I walked around with disrespect towards him cause he was just running around the cage. I switched up and in that millisecond he got that lucky shot.
“Even after he got that lucky shot, although it was a beautiful shot, even after the shot I got back up and engaged and he shot again. But whatever, there’s many great things that I can take from that and I can come back and avenge that.”
McGregor is currently nursing a hand injury but is expected to return to the Octagon by the end of the year.