If Conor McGregor is convinced that Khabib Nurmagomedov is afraid to rematch him, hearing Khabib’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, confirm that Khabib has no interest in fighting him will not do much to change McGregor’s opinion.
Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Conor McGregor in the UFC 229 main event in October of 2018, and McGregor has been lobbying for a rematch ever since. There’s just one problem: Khabib has not been interested and has stated repeatedly that McGregor will have to earn a title shot. McGregor’s response to this is that Nurmagomedov is afraid to fight him again. Now, Khabib’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, has made it clear that McGregor is not on Khabib’s mind and that he doesn’t even expect McGregor to get past his next opponent, let alone Khabib (Transcript via MMA Junkie):
“Listen, Dana’s the greatest promoter in history (and) I respect the man very much,” Abdelaziz told TMZ Sports. “He has to make people care about Conor. And by mentioning Khabib’s name, he is making Conor more relevant. It’s OK. He promote, can do whatever. Khabib has a plan, Dana has a plan, sometimes we’ll get upset, sometimes we’ll agree. But business moves on.
“But Conor’s not on our radar. He might lose to ‘Cowboy’ as far as I understand. I think he might lose.”
McGregor will be facing Donald Cerrone in the main event of UFC 246 in two weeks, and Abdelaziz believes that McGregor and his camp are saying the same things ahead of this fight as they did before McGregor’s fight with Nurmagomedov, so the public should not be fooled.
“Listen, his coaches before the fight (with Nurmagomedov) said: ‘He’s ready, he’s gonna knock Khabib out inside three rounds, he’s never been in better shape.’ And after that, they said: they had a horrible camp, his foot was like a balloon. They’re liars.
“He looks like a blew-out balloon. He’s a bodybuilder. That’s what I think. He’s getting no love from us.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s attention is currently squared on #1 lightweight contender Tony Ferguson in a bout scheduled for April at UFC 249.
Do you agree with Ali Abdelaziz? Are Conor McGregor and his coaches liars?