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Morning Report: Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father says his son would rematch Conor McGregor in boxing

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Following his big win at UFC 229, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s team has been searching for who his next opponent will be. Now, they might have found their guy, and the new opponent is the same as the old one: Conor McGregor.

Speaking recently with Russian news outlet Izvestia (h/t Irish Mirror and Bloody Elbow) Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, raised the possibility of rematching McGregor, but instead of in the cage, doing so under boxing rules.

“As for the fight against Conor under boxing rules, this is a fight we are interested in,” Abdulmanap said. “Khabib showed that he is able to beat the best strikers of mixed martial arts. He said this before, but few believed it. However, after strong victories over Michael Johnson, Edson Barboza, and Conor, people begin to believe.”

Going into their fight at UFC 229, the dynamics of the bout were clear - McGregor was the striker and Nurmagomedov was the wrestler - and in the first round, things played out as such, with Khabib taking down ‘Notorious’ and controlling him the entire time. But in the second round, Nurmagomedov feinted low and cracked McGregor with an overhand right that dropped the former double champ to his butt. His success on the feet had Khabib pursuing a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather but with that bout proving difficult to make happen, it seems ‘The Eagle’ may be ready to settle for second best and his father is confident they can win under a limiting ruleset.

“Nurmagomedov is able to do it in the boxing ring. Khabib has all the skills to win by the rules of boxing. One of the key skills can be called endurance. I remember his five round fight with Iaquinta, in which Khabib showed his willingness to fight in absolutely any area, using everything from a light left jab to control on the ground. I want to note that the fight with Iaquinta was of great importance for us, there was a title belt at stake and it was important to keep the bout calm, and take the win. Which we did.”

This could be music to McGregor’s ears who, following his loss, has already made it clear that he would like an immediate rematch. But though a rematch between the two is arguably the biggest fight the UFC can make right now - especially given the aftermath of their fight - the way Nurmagomedov dismantled McGregor makes an immediate rematch harder to promote. Plus, this might be one of the few ways for the UFC to actually pay Nurmagomedov his new asking price.


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Khabib wanted to box Conor feels like he’s definitely biting off more than he can chew. He’d still probably do better than Conor would grappling him but this just seems like a bad idea.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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