Conor McGregor has challenged his long-time rival and reining lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov to a rematch, even before making his triumphant return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Speaking about the possibility of a rematch in an interview with The Mac Life, the 31-year-old Irishman said with characteristic confidence that, “everyone wants it. The boss wants it. [UFC President] Dana [White] wants it. We all want it. He [Nurmagomedov] can run, but he cannot hide. I look forward to it."
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) 3 January 2020
McGregor, is currently training for his comeback match with Donald Cerrone, a much-anticipated brawl to be held in Las Vegas on January 18.
“Me and Donald have had a history for a while, and I did say I’d fight him. If you look at the list of call-outs or people that I’ve engaged with, Donald was probably one of the first ones. So, he’s first on the list and I’ll get to every single one of them,” Mr McGregor said in the interview.
However, McGregor reserved his more serious words for Nurmagomedov, about who he said, “that man is trembling. He doesn’t want it. You get it. He’s trying not to lose again. I just smell sh*t. That’s all it is. He’s afraid, and that’s it.”
McGregor and Nurmagomedov have a tense history with one another.
The two men fought a headline match in the UFC 229 back in October 2018. At that time, the Russian Nurmagomedov won by submission in the fourth round. However, McGregor argues that he did not sufficiently prepare for the fight and claims that is why he lost.
McGregor and Nurmagomedov have had their fair share of controversies throughout their rivalry, including an incident in which they broke out into a post-match fist fight following the UFC headline event in October 2018.