UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is done with Conor McGregor, for good.
The unbeaten Russian grappler famously submitted McGregor in 2018, then threw his mouthpiece at McGregor’s corner before jumping over the cage to confront his team. That was the result of some really bad blood that built up over time, ending the much-anticipated matchup on a sour and somewhat embarrassing note.
McGregor wants a rematch and Khabib does not, explaining that he’s done with the Irishman for good after beating him in the octagon. It was revealed, however, by President Dana White, that the UFC was interested in having McGregor coach against Khabib in the latest version of The Ultimate Fighter reality series, which sees two current stars build up a team of fighters who compete for a six-figure UFC contract.
In an exclusive interview with ESPN, Nurmagomedov confirmed he nixed any plans of a reboot of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series in 2021, which would have featured McGregor and him as opposing coaches. UFC president Dana White revealed those plans to Barstool Sports recently, and Nurmagomedov explained why he shot it down.
“‘The Ultimate Fighter’ with him is good attention for him,” Nurmagomedov told ESPN. “I don’t want to give him this. I never give him this. Even if they give me $5 billion — even if they gave me the UFC — I never do this. This is good attention for him.
“It’s done. Everything is done Oct. 6, 2018 [the day Nurmagomedov submitted McGregor at UFC 229]. I finish him. I finish everything about him.”
Khabib is defending his title against Justin Gaethje not this Saturday, but next Saturday on Fight Island in the Emirates. McGregor fought in January at 170 pounds against Donald Cerrone and has been inactive since then, partly due to the pandemic. He originally fought at 145 pounds (featherweight) on his UFC arrival, but hasn’t competed at that weight since 2015, when he beat Jose Aldo. If he stayed at 170, I wouldn’t mind seeing him fight Jorge Masvidal or even completing the Nate Diaz trilogy. There are opponents out there if McGregor can accept moving on the Khabib rematch.