Khabib fires fresh jibe at McGregor over ‘fake’ fight
The Russian UFC great spoke on their showdown at UFC 229 and the Irishman’s boxing crossover with Floyd Mayweather
Ex-UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has spoken on his infamous post-fight scuffle with rival Conor McGregor and criticized the Irishman’s “fake” boxing crossover with Floyd Mayweather.
The 33-year-old Dagestani met McGregor at UFC 229 in 2018 after months of trash talk and a regrettable episode where McGregor threw a dolly through the window of a bus Nurmagomedov was on outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
After a fourth-round submission win for wrestling expert Nurmagomedov, the Russian then went for members of McGregor’s team in the crowd and revealed his dissatisfaction with the outcome of the pay-per-view smash to the Full Send podcast this week.
“First of all, I was preparing for war. I come inside the cage, I fight with this guy, and he tapped,” Nurmagomedov began.
“I’m like, ‘Why I come here? Why I train so hard for this?
“You’re going to tap easily like this?’ I just take his chin, you know, and he tapped. This one made me upset too, you know, because I accept more than what I find inside the cage… I remember someone from his corner said something and it was crazy emotional.
“I’m not going to say I am proud of something like this, at the age of 33-years-old I can say I wouldn’t have jumped into the crowd now.
“I am like ‘okay this party is not finished’. I don’t really remember but who cares, I think he was happy because what would have happened if the referee wasn’t there?” Nurmagomedov pondered.
“They never asked to fight again, there was no reason to make the rematch after he tapped out in four rounds.”
For McGregor, the Nurmagomedov clash ended a two-year hiatus from the UFC and was a failed attempt to recapture the lightweight crown he took from Eddie Alvarez in 2016 while in turn becoming the promotion’s first-ever two-division champion.
Between these events, in 2017, ‘Notorious’ crossed over to boxing where he was stopped by Floyd Mayweather in the 10th round of a highly lucrative Las Vegas brawl that Nurmagomedov stated he found “fake”.
Though he conceded that the meeting was a “historic event,” the Dagestani claimed that “not many people care about this fight.”
“It was a historical event because of [being] an MMA champion versus boxing champion, but many people don’t even remember what happened inside the fight.
“It was just like [a] sparring fight and for me, it was not [a] real fight because this guy [McGregor] [is] not a real boxer. For me it was more like a fake fight.”
“This is just my opinion. Maybe, maybe not… Then, what was between us, it was real. Everything what happened before the fight, inside the fight, after the fight.”
On this day in 2017, Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor fought in a groundbreaking crossover bout, which saw two of the largest figures from the boxing and MMA worlds collide pic.twitter.com/9LdnFgJsu6
— Boxing on BT Sport (@BTSportBoxing) August 26, 2021
Like Mayweather, who stepped down after the licensed McGregor victory on 50-0, Nurmagomedov walked away from the octagon for good in 2020 with an unblemished 29-0 record once submitting Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.
This came as part of a promise to his mother after father and coach Abdulmanap passed away from Covid complications earlier that year.
But according to Nurmagomedov, he told nobody close to him that he had agreed not to fight on without his mentor watching over him.
“That time, I know it’s going to be my last fight but I didn’t tell anybody. People talk about like ‘oh this guy can beat Khabib’ but I don’t care about this,” Nurmagomedov said.
“I don’t care, when I fought Conor, [Rafael] Dos Anjos, [Dustin] Poirier, [Edson] Barboza and Justin Gaethje. They was always talking about ‘oh maybe this guy can stop him’.
“Then when I come to the cage and I feel my opponents I’m like ‘come on guys, this guy is not on my level.’”
Someone else not on Nurmagomedov’s level is YouTube pretender Jake Paul.
After putting together a 5-0 slate in boxing, the prankster seems to be attempting a switch to MMA and has even had an offer from Nurmagomedov to join his Eagle FC promotion now up and running in the US.
Paul countered the proposal by calling out Nurmagomedov, who has predicted making short work of the loudmouth if anything ever came to fruition.
“Come on, Jake Paul. I don’t think so,” Nurmagomedov said. “In MMA, [I’ll win in] like [a] couple of minutes.”
“He’s late a little bit because I’m finished,” Nurmagomedov pointed out. “Of course, we can think about this. I watched – it was sparring, or I watched some video where he’s doing, like, MMA with someone. He has to learn a lot.”
“In boxing, he knows how to punch,” Nurmagomedov conceded. “He’s not bad in the boxing game. Anybody can box. You can box, too, but you never can wrestle.
“This is completely different. If he wants, we can give him a chance. We can sign him, and we can pay him, and we’ll see,” Nurmagomedov concluded.