Conor McGregor: Khabib Nurmagomedov rematch in Russia would be like Rocky

Monday 20 January 2020 08:11, UK

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Conor McGregor is receptive to a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov in Russia and says it would be 'like a Rocky film'

Conor McGregor is receptive to a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov in Russia and says it would be "like a Rocky film".

McGregor made an emphatic return to the octagon by beating Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds on Saturday night and a proposed rematch with Nurmagomedov has been described by UFC president Dana White as "the biggest fight in the sport's history".

Nurmagomedov beat McGregor in October 2018 to defend his lightweight title, after which the bad blood that had festered between the two camps led to a post-fight melee that saw both combatants fined and suspended by the Nevada
State Athletic Commission.

Khabib Nurmagomedov
Image: Nurmagomedov beat McGregor in emphatic style at UFC 229 in August 2018

With McGregor so impressive in this welterweight outing, there will be a number of fighters clamouring to face him next, including 170lb champion Kamaru Usman and 'BMF' titlist Jorge Masvidal, but the huge money would be in another Nurmagomedov fight, and McGregor would even be willing to have it on the unbeaten Russian's home ground.

"There's a lot of money in Russia, there's a lot of revenue in Russia," he said. "I love Russia, I love the Russian people. I went to Moscow recently, and they are such a great nation. They are so passionate about the sport of mixed martial arts, they are so passionate about myself.

"So, they are good-spirited people. And what a place. It would be something out of a Rocky movie. So I will be very eager to do that. Dana is a hometown Vegas boy, I know the Vegas people will be campaigning for it.

"I want to create spectacles for the people. That's one hell of a spectacle. Even me going out to Moscow that time, the place shut down, the world took notice. They were on the streets screaming my name. So, I am more Russian than that man (Khabib), so I would love to go to Moscow and compete there."

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Conor McGregor 0:48
After his emphatic victory over Donald Cerrone, McGregor discussed his unorthodox shoulder clinch blows and whether his next opponent could be a rematch with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov

White also feels McGregor would provide a much stronger test to Nurmagomedov than he did in the pair's most recent fight, which the latter won with a fourth-round submission after a dominant display.

"Going into the Khabib fight, Conor had a lot of personal stuff, some stuff self-inflicted, he had injuries," White said. "He has been obsessed with getting that rematch because he knows that he wasn't 100 per cent right.

"With how Khabib won the first fight and how famous he's become, we're looking at Hagler-Hearns, we're looking at Ali-Foreman, Ali-Frazier.

"This is a massive fight with global appeal, it's the fight that you make, it's the fight that makes sense. Khabib versus Conor is the biggest fight in the sport's history."