Khabib Was ‘Disappointed’ With Conor McGregor At UFC 229
UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov beat his fierce foe Conor McGregor decisively at UFC 229, but says he was ‘disappointed’ as he expected more of a fight from the Irishman.
After months of verbal attacks, Khabib and McGregor finally met in October 2018 for the UFC lightweight title, with ‘The Eagle’ successfully defending his belt by submitting ‘The Notorious’ in the fourth round.
McGregor Lacked Mental Toughness
McGregor has since been demanding a rematch, citing a foot injury and a lack of proper preparation as reasons for the defeat. But he has also argued that he was beating the Russian before he was eventually stopped.
The Irish superstar is known for his trash talking and the mind games he uses to bait his opponents, both outside and inside the Octagon. But speaking at a press conference in Moscow (as transcribed by MMA News), Khabib said that he was ‘disappointed’ with the version of McGregor he faced.
“Conor’s trash talk? Yes, he had talked for a while [during the fight], but when I started pushing him, he immediately switched to the ‘It’s just business’ mode,” Khabib said. “I was even a bit disappointed. I expected him to be mentally tougher.
“When I was ground-and-pounding him, talking to him, and he responded that it was just business, it looked like he was trying to calm me down to avoid a real beating, just like a son trying to justify himself in front of his angry father. Psychology is a very strong tool.”
Khabib said an emotional goodbye to fighting after successfully defending his title against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. He cited his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov’s death earlier this year, and the promise he made to his mother, as the reasons to bow out of MMA.
Taking to Twitter after UFC 254, McGregor paid his respects to Khabib and his late father, hinting that he might have buried the hatchet from his end.
However, in a now-deleted series of tweets yesterday, McGregor hinted that he still wants his rematch, and that he, UFC president Dana White, and Khabib’s manager Ali Abdelaziz are going to bring him back.
In one tweet, McGregor posted ‘Robert Earl Britton is The Man!’, a reference to an alias that Abdelaziz has allegedly used in the past.
Abdelaziz responded by posting a series of his own tweets, hitting back at McGregor.
Welterweight and middleweight contender Khamzat Chimaev also joined in on the act, promising to ‘smash this chicken’.
Khabib and Dana are expected to meet in Abu Dhabi next month to discuss the future course of action. As for McGregor, he is scheduled to fight Dustin Poirier in the UFC 257 main event next month.
Would you be interested in a rematch between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor?