UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov recently said in an interview that his beef with Conor McGregor might not end until one of them is dead and the other is in jail.
That doesn’t mean he wants to keep talking about his arch-rival.
Nurmagomedov hosted a conference call with reporters Friday ahead of his UFC 242 title defense against Dustin Poirier on Sept. 7 in Abu Dhabi. Embed:
A question about whether he would eventually rematch McGregor, who he defeated in an October title bout at T-Mobile Arena that featured a post-fight brawl between their camps, didn’t sit well with the champion.
“Honestly, I don’t understand what you’re asking about,” Nurmagomedov said. “This guy, when (is the last time he won a fight)? Why (do) you keep talking about this guy? This guy has done nothing in two years, and we keep talking about this guy. I don’t want to talk about him. We have Dustin Poirier.”
Several nasty exchanges online and in the media led to Nurmagomedov confronting a teammate of McGregor in a New York hotel, which was caught on a cellphone video. McGregor then flew to New York and tried to confront Nurmagomedov at a press event at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, only to arrive late and instead attack a bus containing several fighters.
McGregor was arrested and charged with three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief and later plead no contest to disorderly conduct.
Nurmagomedov has said the feud has been stoked by McGregor’s racist and anti-Muslim rhetoric.
“It will never be finished,” Nurmagomedov told ESPN earlier this week. “Ever. Even if we see (each other) somewhere, we’re going to fight, 100 percent. It doesn’t matter if someone goes to jail or something like this. I’m not scared about this.
“They go to hospital and we go to police. That’s it.”
The 30-year-old Nurmagomedov, undefeated in 27 career fights, seeks his second title defense when he puts the belt on the line against Poirier.
UFC 242, which also features a lightweight bout against Paul Felder, will air on ESPN-Plus pay-per-view.