Khabib Nurmagomedov has broken his silence on Conor McGregor’s long-awaited return to the Octagon.
McGregor’s victory over Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in the main event of UFC 246 was the Irishman’s first fight for 15 months and his first win inside the Octagon for three years.
His previous outing was a submission defeat to Khabib at UFC 229 in October 2018.
McGregor has since moved up a weight class from lightweight to welterweight, and his victory last month was his first knockout in that division.
The decision to book McGregor against Cerrone, who had lost his previous two bouts via knockout, had been criticised by some. Khabib is no different, he claims that McGregor was handed the victory over Cerrone.
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Nate Diaz has gone as far as to say that the fight was fixed, but Nurmagomedov stops short of that estimation.
“I don’t think this fight was fixed. That’s what I think but I can be wrong.
“Why? Such a big organization with such a big history would not take risk. That would be a huge blow to their reputation.
“But they guessed right with the opponent because that opponent didn’t win any serious trophies.
“He can win and win but as soon as he gets to a big fight, he blows it. He’s a very mentally weak person. It happens.
I don’t want to make examples. Let’s just say it was a well-played circus.
The UFC president Dana White was slightly perturbed by the notion that McGregor was gifted an elementary victory, and he told ESPN: “He looked unbelievable.
“So many causals come in when a Conor McGregor fight happens. So people are thinking, ‘Oh, he fought this guy. This was a push[over].’
“He didn’t fight a pushover. He didn’t a fight a tomato can. He fought one of the baddest and one of the toughest dudes to ever do it in ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. And he ran through him like a train.
“People thought that was a tune-up fight for Conor. That Conor fought some guy that he should’ve beat. Not true.
“He fought a very angry and very motivated ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in the amount of disrespect he was shown in that fight. And Conor made it look easy. He really did.”
With the barbs traded back and forth and the anticipation of a rematch, White is keen to make that happen for McGregor’s next fight of 2020.
Nurmagomedov, however, has other ideas.
“I’m surprised that people even question me about a rematch. I did everything I wanted to him, he even gave up.
"How can we even discuss a rematch?
“Everyone saw what happened in the octagon [versus McGregor]. I controlled the fight every step of the way.
“I did everything I wanted to him, he even gave up. How can we even discuss a rematch? We are only talking about continuing the festivities and making money.”News Now - Sport News