Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor 2 would make a truckload of money. But Joe Rogan is taking a hard pass. He has another opponent in mind for Nurmagomedov, the UFC lightweight champion.
Rogan, the UFC’s color commentator, said recently on his Joe Rogan Experience podcast that he’d rather see Tony Ferguson get Nurmagomedov next. Ferguson is coming off a stoppage finish over Anthony Pettis at UFC 229 earlier this month, the same card in which Nurmagomedov beat Conor McGregor by fourth-round submission.
In Rogan’s mind, Nurmagomedov beat McGregor in fairly one-sided fashion and an immediate rematch is not necessary from a sporting point of view.
“There’s all this talk about a Conor rematch, because financially that would be a fantastic fight,” Rogan said. “Financially. But if you look at what happened, that was a dominant victory. There was one round where Conor did pretty good, the third round. Other than that, Khabib just sort of dominated him. I mean, he dropped him in the second, beat the f*cking shit out of him in the fourth. The third was a round where Conor did pretty good, because most of it was standing up.”
Khabib vs. McGregor notched around 2.4 million pay-per-view buys in the first estimate, per MMA Fighting’s Dave Meltzer. That would place it as far and away the biggest PPV in UFC history.
Rogan said a second fight between the two rivals — there was a heated melee between both camps after the bout — could easily be sold, even if McGregor lost comprehensively.
“I guess you could say that’s the same thing that sort of happened in the Nate Diaz fight [with McGregor] and then Conor came back and won the rematch,” Rogan said. “So, this is the argument. The argument is Conor was rusty, he’s out of the cage for two years, he gets back in, let’s do a rematch. Then, financially — Jesus Christ. It was the biggest [UFC] fight of all time. They’re saying it was above 2.4 million pay-per-view buys, which is f*cking bananas. That’s huge.”
A rematch would likely earn even more than that. But Rogan would prefer Ferguson, who has won 11 straight, to be next for Nurmagomedov, the 27-0 undefeated champ.
“If they could talk people into a rematch, I get it,” Rogan said. “But I don’t want to see that. I want to see Tony. I want to see Tony and Khabib.”