Khabib Nurmagomedov on the moment he knew Conor McGregor didn't want to fight him

Over a year ago, Khabib Nurmagomedov successfully defended the UFC Lightweight Championship against Conor McGregor in one of the biggest UFC fights in history.

In the build-up to the fight at UFC 229 in October 2018, Conor McGregor was sending some very controversial promos in Khabib Nurmagomedv’s direction, but the Russian took them in his stride.

When the Octagon cage door closed though and the fight was on, The Eagle knew from very early on that Notorious did not want to be there.

Speaking to Russian schoolchildren in a Q&A session, Khabib said he knew McGregor didn’t want to fight him when he didn’t look at him in the eyes while receiving instructions from the referee.

The Lightweight Champion said, via talkSPORT: “Before the fight, when the referee stood between us giving us instructions, the opponent didn’t look at me in the eyes.

“At that moment, I realised he didn’t want to be in the cage with me. And before that, he talked a lot.

“He looked at me and made statements. But when we were in the cage, I realised he wanted it to be over as soon as possible.”

Khabib was dominant throughout the majority of the fight vs McGregor, and he ended up winning in the fourth round via a neck crank submission.

While Notorious hasn’t fought since that night, The Eagle has gone on to successfully defend his UFC Lightweight Championship again.

Khabib faced Dustin Poirer earlier this year in September at UFC 242, and he defeated The Diamond with a rear-naked choke submission in the third round to retain his title.

Nurmagomedov’s next fight is expected to be another Lightweight title defense, this time against Tony Ferguson in early 2020.

The date for that fight is yet to be confirmed, but this will be the fifth time UFC has tried to book this specific fight, as it has fallen through several times in the past, mainly due to injuries.

McGregor is expected to fight again for UFC in early 2020 too but, unsurprisingly, he still wants another fight with Khabib. He may have to wait sometime for that to happen.

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