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Khabib Nurmagomedov trashes Conor McGregor, shoots down possible rematch

Khabib Nurmagomedov points at Dillon Danis Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has big plans to add onto his legacy over the next few years but none of it involves a rematch against Conor McGregor.

Last October, Nurmagomedov silenced McGregor with a dominant performance at UFC 229 before finishing the fight in the fourth round with a rear-naked choke.

The lopsided performance that moved the undefeated Russian to 27-0 in his career didn’t stop McGregor from almost immediately pushing for a rematch. While McGregor still hasn’t fought since facing Nurmagomedov last year, UFC president Dana White said as recently as last week that a rematch down the road was still possible.

When it comes to his own personal interest in the fight, Nurmagomedov shot down McGregor and the talk of a rematch when asked about the Irish superstar on Wednesday during the UFC 242 pre-fight press conference.

“The last three years he only have one victory in amateur boxing, how [does] he deserve rematch?” Nurmagomedov said about McGregor. “He tapped. He begged me ‘please, don’t kill me’ and he talks about rematch. Tony Ferguson on the line. People who have win streak are on the line but not the guy who don’t win nothing the last three years.

“I have a lot of work without him. Right now, I’m focused on Sept. 7.”

While McGregor doesn’t appear to be on his radar any longer, Nurmagomedov did address a potential showdown with Tony Ferguson after they have been scheduled to fight on four separate occasions yet never actually met inside the cage.

Ferguson returned to action last Saturday night at UFC 238 where he earned a second round TKO against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone that moved his current win streak to 12 in a row.

Following his win, Ferguson expressed interest in facing the winner of Nurmagomedov and interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier, who meet in the main event at UFC 242 from Abu Dhabi.

It seems Nurmagomedov definitely has that fight on his mind as well but right now his sole focus remains on unifying the lightweight title against Poirier in September.

“He deserves a title shot in my opinion but when the UFC asked him to fight Max Holloway, he don’t take this fight,” Nurmagomedov said about Ferguson. “The problem right now is because of him. I don’t know why he don’t take this fight but he take regular fight with “Cowboy” [Donald Cerrone]. I don’t understand this.

“I don’t want to underestimate my opponent in Dustin. He’s a tough challenge for me. Right now I don’t want to think about other opponents. I have to focus on my opponent.”

For all the questions about what comes next, Nurmagomedov made sure to always bring the focus back to his current fight because without getting through Poirier, nothing else matters.

“I’m preparing for this fight like I’m going to have the hardest fight in my life,” Nurmagomedov said. “I can’t wait. Sept. 7 is going to be a big, big night for me, for my legacy and for Dustin, too.”

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