After dominating the former two-division champion for the better part of four rounds before finishing the fight with a rear naked choke back in Oct. 2018, Nurmagomedov has moved onto defeat Dustin Poirier and he’s currently in talks to face Tony Ferguson in early 2020.
McGregor has been rumored for a return to action in January against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone but he’s also stated in various appearances that he desperately wants a second shot at Nurmagomedov and he’s willing to fight him in Moscow, Russia if that’s what it takes.
For all the bluster that McGregor has shown publicly about seeking the rematch, Nurmagomedov doesn’t really believe the Irish superstar actually wants to set foot back in the Octagon with him again.
“Honestly I don’t think he wants that fight,” Nurmagomedov said during a Q&A with kids held in Russia (transcription courtesy of RT Sport). “How is that so? I beat him up for four rounds. I beat him and choked him and he tapped. It was a sign he didn’t want to be there, ‘let me go please’ and all that. And now he wants the rematch.
”First of all he has to earn it. We’re in the fourth year since his last victory. It’s been three years and now we’re in the fourth. In order to fight for the title I had to win 10 fights in a row in the UFC. That’s not counting the 16 victories I had outside the UFC. In every fight I earned it not with my mouth but with my actions. That’s where we’re different — he talks about it, I just do it.”
As far as McGregor’s insistence on the fight happening, Nurmgomedov has conditioned himself to just tune out whatever his former opponent is saying because it’s all just lip service at this point.
According to the undefeated Russian champion, even the fans are starting to see through McGregor’s persona because he keeps on talking but hasn’t actually booked a fight in more than a year with his last win coming in 2016.
“It’s nice for me, because even when I keep quiet and even when I don’t say anything people can weigh it up for themselves,” Nurmagomedov said. “Hang on, this guy talks and this guy just acts’. Just talking is one thing, but when it comes to doing it, he’s completely different.
“So for me there are no kind of announcements or insults. He’s an idiot. We don’t pay attention to idiots.”
By all accounts, Nurmagaomedov is staying focused on his next title defense against Ferguson, assuming a deal can be reached for that fight, while McGregor remains in negotiations for his expected return to action at UFC 246 on Jan. 18 in Las Vegas.