MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. Reigning UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia said on Friday he believed that a rematch with Conor McGregor, a renowned Irish professional mixed martial arts fighter and boxer, was possible.
"First of all he [McGregor] must return, defeat [US fighter] Dustin Poirier and only then we will have a fight, no problem," Nurmagomedov told a news conference on Friday.
McGregor announced in June a decision to wrap up his sports career. Nurmagomedov’s team announced earlier in the year that Khabib was scheduled to face Interim Lightweight Champion Justin Gaethje of the United States on October 24.
In early September last year, Nurmagomedov defended his UFC champion’s belt for the second time in a title unification bout in Abu Dhabi against Dustin Poirier of the United States. The Russian defeated his US opponent with a choke in Round 3.
The 31-year-old Russian fighter, nicknamed ‘The Eagle,’ currently holds an unblemished record of 28 wins in all of his mixed martial arts fights (8 by KOs, 10 by submission and 10 by decision).
Khabib Nurmagomedov, hailing from Russia’s North Caucasus Region of Dagestan, was the first Russian to win the UFC champion title during the fight against his US opponent Al Iaquinta in the spring of 2018.
On April 8, 2018, Nurmagomedov routed Al Iaquinta in a five-round fight for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight belt in New York.
On the night of October 6, 2018, Nurmagomedov defeated McGregor during the UFC 229 tournament in Las Vegas, defending his lightweight title with a choke in the 4th round of the fight.
However, straight after the fight in Las Vegas a mass brawl broke out between the teams of both fighters, including Nurmagomedov, who jumped out of the cage and attempted to beat up one of the Irish opponent’s team members for insulting him.
Both athletes were later slapped with various penalties over that incident. A court in the US state of Nevada imposed a nine-month suspension on Nurmagomedov and ordered a six-month suspension for McGregor.
McGregor is one of the most popular UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) fighters boasting a record of 22 wins (19 by KO/TKO, one by submission and two by decision) and four defeats. He won his first champion’s title of the UFC in 2015 and became later the first MMA fighter to simultaneously hold the champion’s belts in the UFC featherweight and lightweight divisions.