Conor McGregor has been very vocal about a rematch with UFC Lightweight kingpin Khabib Nurmagomedov.
However, the champion has been consistently denying this possibility.
Despite Nurmagomedov’s lack of interest in the rematch, it’s been widely speculated that McGregor will serve as the replacement opponent for the champ’s UFC 249 fight against Tony Ferguson. This means that Conor McGregor would be stepping in to fight if one of the two men fail to make it to the cage.
The downside of this is that Nurmagomedov could end up rematching McGregor on short notice, whether he wants to or not.
While this scenario would likely not go over well with Nurmagomedov, his head coach Javier Mendez doesn’t believe they have any say in the matter. He says the UFC are the ones who call the shots.
“Let’s not be naive and think that we’re in control,” Mendez told MMA Junkie (h/t MMA News). “We’re not in control. We can control what we do, but the organization controls who you fight and who you don’t fight.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor fought back in October of 2018, in the main event of UFC 229. The fight went down as the biggest PPV in UFC history by doing 2.4 million buys. The fight ended by Nurmagomedov submitting McGregor with a neck crank in the 4th round.
The drama did not stop there as moments after their fight, their teams engaged in a massive brawl, both inside and outside the cage. The aftermath of this incident resulted in all parties involved receiving fines and suspension. Still, unfortunately, that was not the end of the bad blood between the two fighters.
Since then, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor have repeatedly taken verbal shots at each other in interviews and on social media. It might be fair to say, while not all fans are on board with a potential rematch between the two fighters, a Nurmagomedov/McGregor would do big numbers based on the festering bad blood alone.
This article first appeared on CLOSEDGUARDMEDIA.com on 21st February, 2020.