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Khabib Nurmagomedov has no interest in returning for Conor McGregor or Dustin Poirier: ‘I choked both, why should I do this?’

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Khabib Nurmagomedov might be motivated to fight again but potential rematches against either Conor McGregor or Dustin Poirier will not entice him to return.

On Wednesday, the UFC lightweight champion held a press conference in Russia to announce the launch of his own fight promotion — Eagle Fighting Championships — and he was also asked about possibly returning for another fight.

Nurmagomedov announced his retirement just after submitting Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 but in the weeks since that event ended, UFC president Dana White has said he believes the undefeated champion will return for at least one more fight. White plans to meet with Nurmagomedov in Abu Dhabi in the near future to discuss possible plans for his return.

While it seems possible that he will fight again, Nurmagomedov was quick to shut down a rematch against McGregor or Poirier after he defeated both within the past two years.

“First, he will probably offer money,” Nurmagomedov said at the press conference (courtesy of Russian reporter Igor Lazorin) “What for? I choked both [Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier]. Why should I do this?”

When pressed about the UFC’s interest in the McGregor rematch after their first fight became the highest selling pay-per-view in company history, Nurmagomedov was quick to point out that money has never really been his motivation.

“Yes, only money. There is no sports interest there,” Nurmagomedov said. “I choked both of them, both were champions, both surrendered to me. As our proverb says: a horse doesn’t run until the donkey wins. Donkeys don`t even take part in competitions where horses run. I have no interest in fighting against these opponents.

“Imagine UFC offered you $100 million. This is already a problem. But there is no sports interest there.”

While Nurmagomedov obviously isn’t interested in McGregor or Poirier, he hasn’t completely shut the door on a comeback, but it appears the UFC will have to entice him with something more than money to get the lightweight champion on board for another fight.