Khabib turned down TUF with Conor McGregor – Here’s why

"I don’t want to give him this..."

As the feud between UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov and Irish superstar Conor McGregor goes beyond conventional rivalry, it’s no surprise that the former denied coaching The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) opposite his former foe.

It was recently revealed that Nurmagomedov was offered a lucrative deal to coach TUF, with McGregor serving as the opposing team’s coach. When asked about it by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the reigning title holder was crystal clear in regards to his reasoning.

“This Ultimate Fighter with him. This is good attention for him. I don’t want to give him this. I never give him this, even if they gave me $5 billion dollars. Even if they give me UFC (ownership), I’ll never do this. This is good attention for him,” Nurmagomedov added.


McGregor and Nurmagomedov fought at UFC 229, which became the most successful MMA pay-per-view of all time. Nurmagomedov ended up winning via fourth round submission but many MMA fans, and UFC president Dana White, are interested in seeing a rematch.

Following McGregor’s TKO of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 246, White stated that the Irish superstar would be next in line for a title shot. However as the Covid-19 pandemic altered the lightweight title plans and Justin Gaethje earned the interim title, it’s unlikely that McGregor will jump the line. Nurmagomedov and Gaethje will face off in a title unification bout at UFC 254 on October 24th.

Would you have liked to see Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor as TUF coaches?

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With roots in muay thai and as an avid combat sports fan, Sebastian Vendel-Martinez grew up while the MMA scene was blossoming in Sweden. He became part of the MMAnytt team in 2012 and has gone on to become one of the most prominent MMA reporters in Scandinavia. Currently he continues to work as a writer, reporter, video producer/editor and head editor for