Conor McGregor returns to the Octagon subsequent Saturday January twenty third at UFC 257 towards Dustin Poirier in a combat that many individuals really feel needs to be for the UFC light-weight belt, provided that present champ Khabib Nurmagomedov has formally retired. However sadly for Mac and Poirier, there’s nonetheless plenty of hypothesis surrounding Khabib’s standing, and UFC president Dana White continues to be working arduous at convincing the undefeated Dagestani fighter to return again.
A gathering with Khabib on Combat Island was supposed to provide us readability on the 155 pound title image, however as an alternative left every little thing in stasis. Khabib said he’d come back if something excited him at UFC 257. Not a lot of a dedication there, particularly given his common unwillingness to rematch Conor McGregor.
Throughout an interview with ESPN, McGregor talked concerning the UFC’s resolution to let Nurmagomedov maintain onto the light-weight belt.
“I used to be stripped of the featherweight belt earlier than even getting a suggestion of a featherweight combat,” he stated. “I barely even obtained the second belt within the Octagon in New York that point. It’s what it’s. I suppose Khabib, and the loss of life of his father, they’re giving him the time and so forth … I feel that’s admirable, additionally.”
“I feel the time is now, although. It’s properly previous. It needs to be for the belt. If it’s not, no drawback. I’m in search of an energetic 12 months, I’m trying to compete. And, you recognize, I’m the champion. You recognize, the unified title was by no means topped. It wasn’t topped that point in October 2018. Khabib fled the cage and left me combating together with his members of the family within the cage. The post-fight ceremony by no means passed off. So I nonetheless really feel like I’m champion right here and I’ll go in and show that. I’ll show that with my performances, and time will present. The cream all the time rises to the highest and the world’s about to see it.”
McGregor made it clear he thought Khabib’s resolution to retire had lots to do with avoiding a rematch.
“I feel he’s afraid to combat me, that’s for rattling certain,” he stated. “And I don’t blame him. I do know precisely what to face. I fought the very best of him on that night time and he fought the worst of me that night time. He is aware of it, I do know it, his group is aware of it. I’ve the reply to destroy that man. He can pull the wool over individuals’s eyes just for so lengthy. You recognize, it’s what it’s. I do know there’s surrounding issues concerning the household. If he’s retired then that’s it I want him properly, and it’s what it’s. However I’m who I’m and I’m on the high. Time will present.”
“I feel his hand is exhibiting he’s not a real fighter, for my part. I imply how might you retire? How might you stroll away? There’s so many fights available. Consider (Nate) Diaz, (Tony) Ferguson, there’s (Charles) Oliveira, the rematch with me. I feel it’s simply preposterous to stroll away. Not solely did he piss on the bus, I feel he pissed on the chips, additionally. I feel he confirmed his hand, however then on the similar time, there’s household points. So it’s what it’s. All the very best.”
Ultimately, “The Infamous” sounds desperate to face Khabib once more if potential however effective with issues if it by no means comes collectively.
“I’m right here for it. I’m prepared for it. I would love it to,” McGregor stated. “But when it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I ponder what he’s going to say. Like I stated, he can solely pull the wool over somebody’s eyes for thus lengthy. Dana might have stripped the belt from him that night time. All that was put into him for that occasion. The pay-per-view flopped. After which a retirement? How lengthy will it final? It doesn’t final lengthy on this enterprise. It’s a ‘What have you ever finished for me these days’ enterprise. And the clock is ticking for certain. So we’ll see what occurs.”