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03rd Apr 2018

Khabib Nurmagomedov would prefer huge ‘legacy fight’ over Conor McGregor next

"Inside the cage, outside the cage, a real champ."

Ben Kiely

Khabib Nurmagomedov

Don’t expect a Conor McGregor call out from Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223.

Once Tony Ferguson pulled out of UFC 223, Khabib Nurmagomedov wanted Conor McGregor to step in.

In the Eagle’s eyes, six days was plenty of notice for ‘the Notorious’ to make the 155 lb limit. At least, it was enough time if his tweet about ‘staying ready’ was in reference to the lightweight title fight.

Nurmagomedov told the MMA Hour that before Max Holloway was even considered to be an option, he had his sights set on a red panty night.

“I told first – where is this Burger King? Take this Burger King here. I need this guy because he put tweet couple weeks ago, ‘I am stay ready.’ Now, where’s this guy? Six days for make weight is good days. It’s not like two, three, it’s six days. He can make weight. Bring this guy, but Dana told ‘he have to look nice, face, everything because he have good sponsorships like deals or something. We cannot change his face.’ I say, ‘ok’.”

The Almighty Dollar

Nurmagomedov’s no fool. He understands that McGregor is the biggest draw in the history of the sport. That being said, money is not what motivates him. He would prefer to add to his legacy rather than earn a giant payday. That’s why if he beats Holloway, he will be pushing for a fight against former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre.

“I want Georges St-Pierre because he talk about he can make 155. He already middleweight and welterweight champion. Why not? Why not now? For his legacy and for my legacy it’s very important.”

“If UFC make this fight, for me, it’s not easy fight. For him, not easy fight. Everybody know this. Both tough opponents, win streaks, champion vs former champion. He’s greatest athlete ever who compete in UFC, my opinion. Inside the cage, outside the cage, a real champ. I know him, I respect him. When I grew up, I watch his fights. About legacy, it’s very important for me.”


Interestingly, McGregor has long been linked with a huge fight against GSP. Although GSP doesn’t seem too keen on the match-up, his coach Firas Zahabi and McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh are. Interestingly, St-Pierre’s reasoning for not trying for a red panty night was because he prefered a legacy bout.

And that’s exactly what the undefeated Dagestani is willing to offer him, even if he believes the promotion will go a different route.

“If I beat Conor or if I beat Georges St-Pierre, which one is better for my legacy? We don’t talk about money. We talk about legacy. I beat Georges or I beat Conor. Of course Georges. If UFC give choice then I’m gonna bring Georges, but 100%, the UFC are going to push me vs Conor. I think Madison Square Garden, across the street.”

Dana White has indicated that he would like McGregor to fight the winner of UFC 223’s headliner. So McGregor vs Nurmagomedov or indeed a rematch against Holloway could be on the cards later this year.