The UFC lightweight champion has confirmed that he would enjoy the prospect of facing #1 contender Nurmagomedov in Russia
While McGregor’s attention is currently focused on facing boxing luminary Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Las Vegas next month, the Irishman opened up about his ‘options’ following the conclusion of his first foray into professional boxing.
“The Notorious” will enter the ropes against arguably the greatest exponent of defensive boxing in history. The task the Dublin-native faces in attempting to challenge Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Las Vegas on Aug. 26 is without a doubt the toughest of his career as a professional fighter. McGregor will need every ounce of self-belief and preparation ahead of a challenge very few believe is achievable.
McGregor, a two-time UFC champion, has never defended either title. Despite winning the featherweight crown in 2015 by way of a spectacular 13-second knockout of former dominant champion Jose Aldo, McGregor opted to face Nate Diaz at 170 pounds on two occasions before ‘relinquishing’ the title earlier this year. McGregor, who became the first fighter in UFC history to simultaneously reign over two divisions, also failed to defend the 155-pound title won at the historic UFC 205 over Eddie Alvarez, instead choosing to pursue the boxing bout against Mayweather.
That could change later this year, however, if McGregor is to be believed. The 29-year-old, echoing Dana White and John Kavanagh’s claims that he is looking to fight Nurmagomedov in an interview with BT Sport in London on Friday:
“[Fighting Khabib] is certainly an option that I’m exploring. It would be a spectacle, it’d be like something out of Rocky; I suppose this whole story is like a Rocky story, right?
“Why not face a man in his home country, and in a crazy place like Russia. It’s certainly something I’d like to do but there’s a couple of options of the table – we’ll see what unfolds.”
As to whether or not he will be back in the UFC in 2017, McGregor is firm in his belief that he will be back before the year is out:
“I believe [I’ll be back this year], I believe I’ll come out of this fight without a scratch.
“Couple of weeks then to refresh my jiu-jitsu and wrestling – not that I’ve stopped that training either, I’ve still kept up on that – and then we’ll see what happens.”
Check out an interview with Dana White confirming Conor McGregor wants a bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov in Russia, below: