Khabib Nurmagomedov had some positive things to say about his Irish rival in a recent interview with Russian news outlet, RT Sport.
It’s almost odd to see anything other than insults thrown between both parties – especially when you consider the dark words Khabib’s manager Ali Abdelaziz had for Conor earlier this week – but in a recent interview with RT Sport, Nurmagomedov himself admitted that McGregor deserves credit for his role in promoting the sport.
“You know, you should give credit to Conor.
“He is very popular. Was I as popular before the fight? I don’t think so. But if you compare us as athletes, I proved that I am better.
“But as a star, he is much brighter than me. I don’t know how much now, but before the fight, definitely.”
And while it doesn’t appear as though we’ll see Khabib and Conor inside the octagon together again any time soon, the Russian maintains that their rivalry goes beyond any personal vendetta that could form between two athletes.
“It was also a rivalry between countries, 100%.
“Do you remember my statement? Irish only six million. Russians 150 million.”
We haven’t heard a lot from the camp of Conor McGregor since the loss, with the post-fight melee depriving him of an opportunity to take to the mic, but even still, it does appear as though he is at least open to the idea of taking a contender fight before resuming his journey towards reclaiming championship gold.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena