Khabib’s uncle has revealed that the UFC lightweight champion has no interest in a rematch with Conor McGregor and instead wants to fight Tony Ferguson and then retire.
While speaking to SE, Alex Nurmagomedov said:
“We planned to have a fight with Tony Ferguson. They expected to hold this fight in April-May. And after this battle, they planned to end Khabib’s sports career.
“But after the fight with Conor, they unjustly punished our fighter Zubair Tuhugov, who was supposed to fight October 27. After all, it was McGregor who started this conflict, and we just finished. I believe that there should be no conflict.
“Khabib had to pull himself together. I do not justify him for jumping over the net after the fight. Khabib reacted calmly to a possible fine of 250 thousand dollars – yet the fee for the fight was much higher. But when Zubayr was fired, he said that he refused the fee and left the UFC. We do not exclude that this can happen in reality.
“But if they keep Tukhugov, then in April-May we will fight Ferguson. We would be interested in this fight. Ferguson is a good fighter.”
When asked who he thought was a better fighter, Ferguson or McGregor, Nurmagomedov replied:
“If Ferguson fights McGregor, Conor will beat him.”
“Ferguson is convenient for him. McGregor is a strong fighter, but for Khabib he was not a rival. He knows how to adapt to any opponent.”
Khabib’s uncle was also asked about his thoughts on the punishment that Khabib and his team received after the unsavoury events after his bout with McGregor at UFC 229.
“[They] fined him fairly. It is unfair that they fired Zubair. Punish him, temporarily remove him, but dismiss him — no.
“Khabib’s team is waiting for an official verdict. While it is not – we can not say anything. Previously, Khabib refused the fee and said that he was not interested in money.”
Nurmagomedov believes that both McGregor and Khabib are to blame for the situation.
“I believe both. We can not say that only one Conor is to blame. This is stupid and not serious.
“Yes, there were moments when Conor touched on faith, parents.
“But even so, after the end of the battle, Khabib had to shake his opponent’s hand. I myself told him that he had to go up to Conor, hug him, thank Irish fans, regardless of who was for him and who was against. This is my opinion as my own uncle. Sport should unite.
“It was necessary to say to Conor: ‘We have forgotten everything that happened until this minute. From this minute we are friends. You are a great country Ireland, we are a great country Russia. Let’s live together.'”
Khabib’s uncle was asked to evaluate the likelihood of the Ferguson fight taking place, to which he responded:
“We planned it, but it can pass only if Khabib remains in the UFC. Many organizations with large prize funds offered him to sign a contract: Bellator, Akhmat, Fight Night. If Khabib remains in the UFC, then in April or May there will be a battle with Ferguson.”
Nurmagemodov appeared to rule out McGregor v Khabib II, however.
“Khabib is not interested in him. He will not fight him for any money. Yes, I know that they are offering him a rematch.
“From the start, they offered him 15 million, if he agrees. But Khabib said no. Let Conor stand in line, let him fight with others. But Habib wants to fight Ferguson, and then finish his career.”