Conor McGregor is one week away from his return to the Octagon, and a win over Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 would surely see him get a title shot... whether or not it’s against Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Last year, Nurmagomedov (29-0) announced his retirement from MMA after submitting Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. Khabib and McGregor are bitter rivals, with Khabib defeating Conor by fourth-round submission at UFC 229 before a post-fight brawl broke out. Unsurprisingly, McGregor didn’t hold back his thoughts on Khabib’s retirement.
“How you could walk away at this stage is baffling to me, but each to their own,” McGregor told TheMacLife (via MMA Junkie). “There’s so many fights out there. Even to carry on around the Tony (Ferguson) situation – I don’t care about nothing. You’re scheduled to fight a man, no matter what, fights must take place. You can’t just scurry away from bouts. It’s been the hallmark of his approach. I was not surprised to see him walk away or scurry away, I should say, so it is what it is. We carry on.”
Dana White has already met with Khabib to try and coerce him out of retirement, with a rematch against his rival McGregor surely sought after. It must be noted that Khabib has never had a rematch in his entire MMA career, but he’s also never had a fight as financially lucrative as this one.
McGregor vs. Poirier 2 is officially a non-title affair but as you might expect, the Irish superstar believes that next week’s main event should double as a title bout.
“I feel it should be,” McGregor said. “I don’t think Dana is going to be bouncing in to throw me a belt straight away with the way the year went, but I understand. What are the belts? I’m here to compete, get some good competition, and the belts will come. I think maybe the next bout is fair.”
For the time being, Khabib is still the champ.