Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov was a bout full of bad blood.
The hatred between the two fighters leaked through the mesh of the Octagon and spilled over to infect the UFC world.
The occasion was memorable for both right and wrong reasons, but placed both fighters out of action for some time.
The victor returned just under a year later and affirmed his place as an elite lightweight with a trademark submission victory over Dustin Poirier just as he did McGregor in October 2018.
McGregor, the loser in the rivalry, took a bit longer to get back to action. After being the subject of several controversial incidents in his near 15 months away, many believed that Conor’s comeback would never come.
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But it did… and with some effect too.
‘The Notorious’ came back heavier than ever to take on the legendary Donald Cerrone at welterweight level and made light work of Cowboy.
It took him just 40 seconds to end the fight in what looked to be a statement from the former lightweight champion.
Many are now left wondering where McGregor is destined to go next. Might he continue his quest in the welterweight division and fight Jorge Masvidal or Kamaru Usman, or is it still too early in his comeback?
Or could his next move be a trip down memory lane to, once again, go toe-to-toe with Khabib in a bid to regain his title and, perhaps more importantly, get his revenge?
Well, Khabib’s father hasn’t ruled the opportunity out and has put his price tag on the event.
“We also need revenge against Conor,” the senior Nurmagomedov told RIA Novosti, via MMA Mania).
“But give us $100 million. The day after the fight against Ferguson, give us that amount and then why not get revenge? I don’t know, maybe Dana White wants to arrange it (for that amount), he needs that fight.”
Many were impressed with the resounding nature of McGregor’s win. Father Nurmagomedov was not. He claims that the win had little impact on the welterweight division and that McGregor still has some way to go before he is considered one of the best in either division.
“Nothing surprising, I saw nothing new,” Nurmagomedov said. “This is the 170 pound weight division, where the strongest fighters are gathered, regardless of weight category. Therefore, I think that absolutely nothing has changed in this weight, the current champion has remained on the throne.
“The top contender for the lightweight title is Tony Ferguson. If Conor wants to prove something at welterweight, then there are Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal — these are the greatest fighters. McGregor and Cerrone in this weight aren’t even top ten.”
The Khabib vs Ferguson fight looks likely and would put McGregor’s attempt on hold for a little while. This will not put him out of action and he may look to try and become the first UFC fighter to become world champion in three divisions with a huge match-up with Usman.