UFC Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s finally appears to be warming up to the idea of a blockbuster rematch with his biggest rival Conor McGregor.
“Let him come back (and) defeat Dustin Poirier, then we will fight with him – no problem,” Khabib told Russian reporters yesterday.
This is a big shift in mindset for Nurmagomedov, who has previously been fiercely opposed to the idea of going up against McGregor again, who he convincingly defeated by submission the last time they fought after a dominant performance inside the Octagon in 2018.
So why has he changed his mind now?
Nurmagomedov told reporters that the way McGregor conducted himself in the wake of the death of his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov has led him to forgive ‘The Notorious’ for what has happened in the past between them.
“Aside from sports, there are also human relations. I’m OK with McGregor,” Nurmagomedov said.
“It’s behind us. To live in the past and hold grudges – it’s not me. Father wasn’t like that, and I don’t think I’ve strayed too far from him.
“I don’t condone personal attacks. But who wouldn’t like it if somebody wished their father well.”
That news will no doubt be music to the ears of the UFC brass, but McGregor would still have to get past Dustin Poirier for the second time in his career, assuming he’s willing to come out of retirement and fight him, while there’s also still a major fight for Khabib against Justin Gaethje in October to deal with as well before the bout could take place.