Perhaps Dana White should have been more careful when he said that Khabib Nurmagamedov is the man now. The Russian seems to have taken the UFC President’s words to heart because he’s shut him down. In short, ‘The Eagle’ is refusing to fight McGregor unless he wins ten fights in a row.
The Irishman will fight Donald Cerrone this upcoming February. It’s his first fight since losing to Khabib in 2017. That was over a year ago now so it will be interesting to see what version of McGregor shows up in Las Vegas. A loss to Cerrone will effectively end his fighting career.
White had promised that McGregor will get the next title shot if he beats Cerrone. Most people agree that Justin Gaethje is more deserving. But this is MMA and money talks. However, ‘The Highlight’ can rest easy knowing that Nurmagamedov won’t take the fight. Maybe Cerrone will win and just shut down this conversation completely.
When asked about McGregor’s chances against Cerrone, Khabib was dismissive. In short, he doesn’t believe that the fight matters to him one way or another. He compared it to the ‘minor leagues’ and was even quite harsh towards Cerrone. The UFC lightweight champion said:
”I think Cerrone lost seven or eight of his last ten fights. The other one’s going into his fourth year of no victories. It’s like the minor leagues – it doesn’t really matter who wins there.”
To be fair, he has a point. McGregor clearly took this fight because he believes that he easily beats Cerrone. A clash with Justin Gaethje would have been far more compelling.
Meanwhile, Khabib also thinks it’s strange that White has promised McGregor a rematch. Especially when you consider that the Irishman took the Cerrone fight at welterweight. It really shouldn’t factor into the picture at lightweight at all. But hey, it’s McGregor, so the normal rules don’t apply to him.
”I’m surprised that Dana White is saying that if Conor beats Cerrone and I beat Tony Ferguson, there will be a rematch,” Nurmagomedov continued. “I decide who I’m going to fight next. To fight me he has to cut weight first, down to 155 pounds, and win ten fights in a row like I did.
Then we’ll think about a rematch. But for now he can fight second rate fighters who lose seven out of ten fights at 170 pounds. But to think he deserves the lightweight belt … while I’m champion that won’t happen, so everything’s all right. Don’t worry.”
At the end of the day, if McGregor wants a rematch you’d have to feel that it will happen. Every man has a price and that includes Khabib. Anyway, we all know that he does whatever his father wants. If Abdulmanap tells him to fight McGregor again, then it’s going to happen. Dana White just needs to buy the elder Nurmagamedov a castle in Dagestan and he’ll be happy.
In all seriousness, Cerrone represents a very serious threat. Should he beat the Irishman then all of this won’t matter at all. It would be hilarious if he does.