Khabib Nurmagomedov: Rivalry with Conor McGregor will ‘never be finished’

UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor

With Khabib Nurmagomedov returning to UFC next weekend for the first time since his fight vs Conor McGregor, the topic of his rivalry with the Irishman was always going to be brought up.

During an interview with ESPN, Nurmagomedov spoke about his rivalry with McGregor ahead of his UFC Lightweight title defense against Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi on September 7.

The Eagle defeated Notorious last October at UFC 229, winning their fight via fourth-round submission. Both fighters were suspended after being involved in a post-fight brawl, McGregor for six months, and Nurmagomedov for nine.

Despite the dominant win inside the Octagon, Khabib says his rivalry with Conor will never be squashed for good.

Nurmagomedov said: "Even [the October fight] did not finish it. Just smash people is not enough. I talk about just smash only him? It's not enough. We have to smash all his team.

"This is what I think before the fight. This is what I say to my team. 'Hey, tonight, we're going to war. This is not about fight.'

"It will never be finished. Ever. Even if we see [each other] somewhere, we're going to fight, 100 percent. It doesn't matter if someone go to jail or something like this. I'm not scared about this. ... They go to hospital and we go to police. That's it."

McGregor has expressed an interest in a rematch with Nurmagomedov on countless occasions, but the Russian doesn't have his eyes on the Irishman next. He wants Notorious to earn the rematch fight first.

UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference

He said: "This guy [McGregor] have to come back and make nine- or 10-fight win streak. Then we gonna fight.

"Maybe people who watch this interview, they think, 'Oh, he think about this, but when UFC ask this guy to fight Conor for millions of dollars, this guy is gonna take it.' No. Fight. Come back and show who are you.

"Dana [White], no need to call me. Why he have to call me about this fight? We talk with Dana sometimes, he's a good guy, but don't talk with me about this crazy fight.

UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor

"I want to fight real guys -- Dustin Poirier, Tony Ferguson, maybe if one of the greatest athletes ever, Georges St-Pierre, wants to fight. I want to fight those guys. I don't want to fight with a guy who never wins."

McGregor hasn't been booked for a return to the Octagon since his suspension ended in April, but Khabib will fight against Poirier next weekend.

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