Even though Khabib Nurmagomedov is still waiting on the Nevada State Athletic Commission to hand down punishment for his attack on Conor McGregor’s team after UFC 299, he’s ready to fight the Irishman again.
Well, Khabib’s father is ready, at least.
Khabib’s father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov has told Russian news outlet Izvestia that he’s “interested” in a rematch with McGregor.
McGregor has been clamouring for a rematch of the fight he lost, while Khabib has been focusing on a possible big-money boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.
But Khabib’s father, who is also his mentor, apparently thinks that another fight with McGregor is the way to go.
But Abdulmanap doesn’t want them to return to the Octagon, where Khabib handled McGregor so well in October. The elder Nurmagomedov said that he wants his son to fight McGregor in a boxing match.
“As for the fight against Conor under boxing rules, this is a fight we are interested in,” he reportedly said.
“Khabib showed that he is able to beat the best strikers of mixed martial arts. He said this before, but few believed it. However, after strong victories over Michael Johnson, Edson Barboza, and Conor, people begin to believe.”
Khabib’s background is in wrestling, so facing McGregor with boxing rules would be limiting – even with Khabib’s increased strength as a striker.
And it would be handing McGregor an advantage from the start, since McGregor is an accomplished striker who has already fought in a boxing match.
Granted, he fought and lost to retired boxer Floyd Mayweather, but that’s experience Khabib doesn’t have. However, Abdulmanap wasn’t done building up his son’s skills.
“Nurmagomedov is able to do it in the boxing ring. Khabib has all the skills to win by the rules of boxing,” he said.
“One of the key skills can be called endurance. I remember his five-round fight with Iaquinta, in which Khabib showed his willingness to fight in absolutely any area, using everything from a light left jab to control on the ground.
“I want to note that the fight with Iaquinta was of great importance for us, there was a title belt at stake and it was important to keep the bout calm, and take the win. Which we did.”
You can almost imagine Khabib sending his father a text after reading those quotes: ‘Dad, stop helping!’
Abdulmanap is obviously trying to help his son in the publicity department and help him secure a major payday for his next fight – whatever that will be.
It feels like the universe keeps trying to push Khabib and McGregor together for a rematch of some kind, and Abdulmanap is just following the direction of the wind.
With a possible Khabib-Mayweather fight facing difficulties, a Khabib-McGregor boxing match isn’t beyond the realm of possibility. Let’s just hope Abdulmanap tells his son about it first.
– Liz Roscher, Yahoo Sports