Recently Dana White reported that Conor McGregor wants to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov in his native Russia, and now the UFC champ’s coach has relayed similar news.
Last month, White said that McGregor had told him he’s interested in fighting the vaunted grappler in Russia, after McGregor boxes Floyd Mayweather on August 26th:
“You know what Conor told me? He said, ‘I want Khabib in Russia,’” White said. “Isn’t he (expletive) awesome? He’s like, ‘I want Khabib, in Russia.’ He’s awesome. Conor McGregor is a (expletive) unicorn…”
The report raised plenty of eyebrows, since in the past, McGregor has argued that Nurmagomedov has not been active enough to warrant a title shot. The undefeated lightweight has fought only two times since 2014 due to injuries. This past March, Nurmagomedov was supposed to fight fellow contender Tony Ferguson, until he ran into issues while cutting weight and had to bow out.
Well, recently McGregor’s head coach, John Kavanagh, was asked to weigh-in on the fighter’s future, in terms of what might come next after he fights Mayweather. The Irish coach and SBG founder had this to say (quote via MMA Junkie):
“He seems very, very motivated to go to Russia in December,” Kavanagh said. “I don’t know if he’s been watching Rocky IV or something like that.”
So, when you consider what White reported before, it certainly sounds like McGregor wants to fight Nurmagomedov next, and this is indeed a very interesting development. For some time, many have questioned whether McGregor has what it takes to get by Nurmagomedov’s galaxy class wrestling and top game. Reading in between the lines here, one could conclude that McGregor has decided that “The Eagle” presents the most intriguing challenge for him. After all, no one has defeated Nurmagomedov to date.
You also have to wonder if this might prompt the UFC to just wait for McGregor’s Octagon return, and book this bout, rather than have Nurmagomedov face Ferguson. But that could be risky. What if McGregor gets hurt against Mayweather? Or decides he wants to take some time off.