Although UFC light heavyweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is scheduled to defend his title against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in April, the demand to see “The Eagle” face Conor McGregor in a rematch of their controversial October 2018 bout remains as high as ever. Both men, after all, have had quite the bitter rivalry in and out of the octagon in recent years. However, it appears that the Russian fighter has no interest in facing the Irishman for a second time, even with rumors hinting at $100 million worth of prize money if the rematch does take place.
As quoted from RT’s English translation, the South China Morning Post wrote on Friday that Nurmagomedov said in an interview that he doesn’t “need that kind of money,” especially considering all the organizations he supports that UFC could work with instead.
“Let [the UFC] give it to them if they don’t know what to do with the money. But giving me US$100 million for me to beat up that idiot again? I don’t think that’s rational.”
While it might not be several more months before the potential rematch takes place, UFC president Dana White has promised that McGregor will face the winner of UFC 249’s Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson main event. After a layoff of more than one year, the former two-division champion made his return to the octagon last month at UFC 246, defeating Donald Cerrone via first-round technical knockout.
???? 'Tony is a great fighter, honestly – I don't like him as a person'
— RT Sport (@RTSportNews) February 1, 2020
McGregor and Nurmagomedov’s feud has lasted close to two years, starting with an April 2018 incident where the “Notorious” fighter’s entourage was caught on video using a steel cargo dolly to attack a bus carrying his rival and other fighters. Following months of back-and-forth trash talk, both men faced off at UFC 229, with Nurmagomedov retaining his light heavyweight belt via submission in the fourth round. However, the big story took place after the bout, as both camps took part in a massive post-fight brawl at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
In the aforementioned interview, Nurmagomedov referenced the incident at UFC 229, saying that he’s surprised fans want him to face McGregor in a rematch and further accusing them of wanting to “continue the festivities” after their initial encounter. He stressed that since he feels he dominated McGregor and forced him to tap out, he doesn’t need to prove anything by agreeing to a second fight.
“How can we discuss a rematch,” he added. “We can only talk about continuing the festivities and making money. The question is do I want that? I am focused on Tony Ferguson. Not at all [am I interested].”