Conor McGregor avoids difficult fights, according to Khabib Nurmagomedov.The lightweight champion, who defends his title against Tony Ferguson in April, dismissed McGregor’s 40-second win over Donald Cerrone by calling Cowboy ‘finished’ and added if he had anything about him he would take on someone like Justin Gaethje next.
And when it comes to Ferguson, Khabib told TMZ he believes his upcoming opponent, who is on a 12-fight unbeaten run, is on a different level to anyone else he has faced before and that includes McGregor.
“I compete with guys like [Edson] Barboza, [Rafael] dos Anjos, Conor, [Dustin] Poirier, [Al] Iaquinta. All of these guys are not tough like Tony Ferguson.
“For my legacy, I have to beat tough opponents. I have to beat all of them who’s like real contenders, not fake contenders.”
Whomever advances in this fight with the belt around their waist, UFC president Dana White has already suggested McGregor will be lying in wait.
However, Khabib was not impressed with McGregor’s most recent win.
“[Cowboy] is not high level,” Khabib said. “Of course he is a big name, but his time is finished.
“Cowboy always loses all his main event fights, always. I don’t remember when he win. In last 10 fights, I think he’s lost seven times.”
To be fair, what Khabib is saying has some remnants of truth to it. Cerrone has lost six of his last 10 fights and seven of his last 11.
Furthermore, Gaethje beat him in his fight prior to his defeat to McGregor and if the rankings and victories mattered, wouldn’t Gaethje have been a better fit for that shot?
When asked if McGregor was ducking Gaethje – a friend of Khabib’s – the Russian said: “I think he is ducking tough match-ups, not only Justin Gaethje,” he said, adding Notorious’ star power allows him to.
Either way, Khabib versus McGregor in 2018 is the highest grossing fight in MMA history by some distance. The prospect of the two facing off again is too much money for the UFC to ignore and the champion believes people just want to see the drama of the two collide rather than an actual fight.