Khabib Nurmagomedov Says He Is Ready to ‘Go to Jail’ to Settle Conor McGregor Beef
“No. Fight. Come back and show who are you.”
In an interview with ESPN, Nurmagomedov even said he’d “go to jail” over a chance to take out his long-term rival. There’s a catch, though: He’s not talking about a rematch in the Octagon. Meeting McGregor there doesn’t actually seem to interest him at all.
“I want to fight real guys,” the fighter told ESPN, “Dustin Poirier, Tony Ferguson, maybe if one of the greatest athletes ever, Georges St-Pierre, wants to fight. I want to fight those guys.”
Then he stuck it to McGregor. “I don’t want to fight with a guy who never wins.”
The enmity between Nurmagomedov and McGregor isn’t an act. Joe, a U.K. site, put together a helpful timeline of the feud, dating back to 2014.
They were friendly at first, tweeting at each other and posing for photos together.
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) September 28, 2014
The pair remained friendly through McGregor’s 2015 prediction that Nurmagomedov would become the lightweight champ. Then you could say the Russian started it, warning McGregor to not move up to his weight class:
“I like Conor McGregor but if he comes to 155lbs then in four minutes, I will smash him,” Nurmagomedov said.
“It would be no problem. He’s an exciting guy and I like him. I think he can beat Jose Aldo, maybe finish him. A lot of people think Jose Aldo will beat him but, in my opinion, I think he kills him.
“But if he comes to 155lbs, welcome!”
Shots fired. But things only simmered for a while, then in 2016 the pair had an encounter in the run up to UFC 205:
A shouting match ensued at the ceremonial weigh-ins and Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, explained what happened during an interview on the MMA Hour.
Abdelaziz said: “We were walking at the official (UFC 205) weigh-in – it was me, Khabib, Conor and his team. Conor was beefing with Woodley and after that we walked by and Conor starts saying, ‘What! What!’ and Khabib ran straight to him and said, ‘I’ll smash your face, you chicken.’ I’ll be honest with you, that’s the truth.”
In April 2018 came the infamous mini-riot before UFC 223, when Conor McGregor was caught on camera slinging a hand truck at Nurmagomedov’s team bus.
The pair fought in UFC 229 and Nurmagomedov won with authority—it was an embarrassing defeat for McGregor. Worse, a full-blown brawl broke out immediately after the match, netting Nurmagomedov nine months suspension from competition and a $500,000 fine.
McGregor has repeatedly said he’d be happy for an immediate rematch against Nurmagomedov but the latter told ESPN it’s not so simple, burning his foe pretty hard in the process.
“This guy,” he said of McGregor, “have to come back and make nine- or 10-fight win streak. Then we gonna fight.”
“Maybe people who watch this interview,” Nurmagomedov continued, “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.”
So, the ball is in the Notorious One’s court. He’s sitting on massive piles of money and doesn’t have to do anything, but we’re pretty sure he’s not done yet, either.