MMA, martial arts

Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov rematch in 2020?

Mixed martial arts fans have been clamoring for a rematch between Conor “The Notorious” McGregor, 31, of Dublin, Ireland and Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov, 30, of Dagestan, Russia since “UFC 229.” The two Ultimate Fighting Championship superstars battled it out at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada, United States on October 6, 2018.

In the main event of “UFC 229,” McGregor challenged Nurmagomedov, which marked the Dagestani MMA fighter’s first title defense as the reigning UFC Lightweight Champion. Referee Herb Dean put a stop to the title bout after 3 minutes and 3 seconds in the fourth round when the defending champion submitted his Irish challenger via neck crank.

The UFC has yet to announce details about McGregor’s next bout and a rematch between him and Nurmagomedov is not likely to happen in 2019. On the other hand, the Dagestani’s second title defense as the UFC Lightweight Champion will be at “UFC 242” at the du Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on September 7, 2019.

In the main event of “UFC 242,” interim UFC Lightweight Champion Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier, 30, of the United States will challenge Nurmagomedov. On June 12, 2019, the UFC held a special pre-fight press conference for the upcoming bout at Hotel Cafe Royal in London, England.

During the press conference, Nurmagomedov pointed out that he was not interested in having a rematch with McGregor. The Dagestani champion criticized the Irishman for not having any wins in the last three years except for one victory over amateur boxer Michael McGrane in a four-round exhibition match at the Crumlin Boxing Club in Crumlin, Dublin on April 19, 2019.

For Nurmagomedov, McGregor does not deserve a rematch. Next in line for the Dagestani, he said, are those who are riding a winning streak like former interim UFC Lightweight Champion Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson, 35, of the U.S., who won all of his 12 most recent bouts.

“He tapped (and) he begged me (saying), ‘Please, don’t kill me,’” MMA Fighting quoted Nurmagomedov as saying of McGregor during the press conference. “And (now) he talks about rematch (but) Tony Ferguson (is) on the line. People who have win streak are on the line but not the guy who don’t win nothing the last three years.”

On the other hand, neither Nurmagomedov nor Ferguson is the favorite to fight McGregor next. Odds say the Irishman is most likely to fight Nate Diaz, 34, of the U.S. next while Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal, 34, of the U.S. is the second most probable opponent.

McGregor and Diaz battled it out in the UFC octagon twice in 2016. The American won their first encounter via rear-naked choke submission at “UFC 196” and the Irishman won their rematch via majority decision at “UFC 202.”

Currently, McGregor holds a professional MMA record of 21 wins and 4 losses while Diaz has 19 wins and 11 losses. Meanwhile, Nurmagomedov will earn his 28th consecutive win as an undefeated professional MMA fighter if he beats Poirier at “UFC 242.”

Watch McGregor and Nurmagomedov in the “UFC 229” weigh-ins here:

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