Khabib Nurmagomedov refuses to rematch against Conor McGregor until UFC star beats Justin Gaethje – The SunMarch 8, 2020
KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV will refuse to rematch Conor McGregor until the Irishman beats lightweight rival Justin Gaethje.
Nurmagomedov, 31, submitted bitter rival McGregor in October 2018 but the bad blood spilled over with a post-fight brawl between the two camps leading to talk of a rematch ever since.
It took The Notorious 15 months after the defeat to return and record a win, as he knocked out Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds in January.
UFC president Dana White revealed 31-year-old McGregor is next in line for the 155lb title, which champion Khabib defends against Tony Ferguson on April 18.
But according to Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz, the unbeaten Russian champion has other ideas.
Abdelaziz told ESPN: "If Khabib wins on April 18, Conor McGregor is not getting a title shot – simple.
The only way Conor McGregor can fight for a title is if he beats someone like Justin Gaethje… if he were to do that, it would be hard to deny him.
"Dana White is the best promoter of all time because he understands fighting and matchmaking. The only way Conor McGregor can fight for a title is if he beats someone like Justin Gaethje.
"If he were to do that, it would be hard to deny him."
Nurmagomedov has long been vocal that he believes The Notorious has not earned a second crack at him and his title.
Promoter White even suggested McGregor will not wait to fight the winner of UFC 249 next month, with reports of Gaethje being the frontrunner to face the Irishman next.
And the 31-year-old is adamant the former two-weight champion cannot jump into a shot at the belt until they meet in the cage.
Gaethje said: “I think I put myself in a great position to fight for a world title, to try to be the best in the world.
“If Conor wants to go past me, he has to go through me.
“I think that’s the only way to legitimise the process and make it right. I think that’s the fight.”
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