The McGregor Show is starting to gear up, with Conor McGregor set to take on Dustin Poirier in the main event of this Saturday’s UFC 257. To sell that fight, and perhaps to try to engineer an even bigger payday down the road, McGregor has been doing the media rounds and has been bashing the current pound-for-pound king Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov bullied and bruised McGregor for three rounds before ending their contest with a neck crank back at UFC 229 in October 2018. After that fight, all hell broke loose, with both fighters (and their camps) descending into buffoonery inside and out of the cage.
The post-fight blow-up was due to the animosity, as severe as we’ve ever seen in the UFC, that was shared during the build up to the fight. Even though he was soundly beaten McGregor continues to talk about Nurmagomedov and angle for a future rematch, despite all signs pointing to Nurmagomedov retiring from the sport.
When he spoke to ESPN McGregor went as far as to say the 29-0 lightweight champion was afraid to fight him.
“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.”
With ESPN McGregor also shared his thoughts on Nurmagomedov’s decision to retire, following his decisive win over Justin Gaethje last fall.
“I think his hand is showing he’s not a true fighter, in my opinion. I mean how could you retire? How could you walk away? There’s so many fights to be had.”
McGregor has announced his own retirement on at least three separate occasions.