Photos: Noah K. Murray/Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Khabib Nurmagomedov shuts down $100 million rematch with “idiot” Conor McGregor

“Why do I need that kind of money?”

Despite alleged offers of 100 million dollars from Saudi Arabia, Khabib Nurmagomedov will not grant Conor McGregor a quick rematch.

UFC 229 still today stands as the most successful MMA pay-per-view in the history of the sport.  The fallout, however, was ugly and long lasting. Bitter rivals Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor met in the cage with the lightweight title on the line. This followed months of harsh trash talk and even physical violence – Which also continued after the fight. According to Ali Abdelaziz, manager to Nurmagomedov, higher-ups in Saudi Arabia are willing to pay immense amounts of money to see the Dagestani champion rematch McGregor.

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”I know some people in Saudi Arabia, right now, they met with me, they want to pay $100 million to Khabib to fight Conor in Saudi Arabia,” Abdelaziz told TMZ. “They want to pay Khabib $100 million to fight Floyd [Mayweather] in Saudi Arabia.”

Nurmagomedov is, however, a man of principal and a devout muslim. The animosity between him and McGregor go beyond athletic rivalry, but even to the point of ideological and cultural differences that have caused a clash between the two. The fantastical amounts of money that these unnamed Saudi Arabians do not, however, sway Nurmagomedov to accept a rematch with McGregor.

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“Why do I need that kind of money?” Nurmagomedov asked reporters at a press conference in Russia, via RT Sport. “There are so many organisations. For example, there’s not only football for the blind, there’s sambo and other sports. Let (the UFC) give it to them if they don’t know what to do with the money. But giving me $100 million for me to beat up that idiot again? I don’t think that’s rational.”

Nurmagomedov utilised  his world class wrestling against McGregor, controlling much of the fight. The undefeated UFC champion therefore doesn’t see the need for a rematch on account of how decisive he considers the first bout.

“Everyone saw what happened in the octagon (against McGregor). I controlled the fight every step of the way. I did everything I wanted to him. He even gave up. How can we even discuss a rematch? We can only talk about continuing the festivities and making money. The question is, do I want that? I am focused on Tony Ferguson.”

He has a good point. In a fight that will be booked for the fifth time, previously cancelled due to injury and illness, Nurmagomedov will defend his title against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249, April 18th. That is a dangerous match up and many see Ferguson as the fighter with the biggest chance to hand Nurmagomedov his first loss. Until that bout goes through, it’s hard to start seriously considering Nurmagomedov vs McGregor II.

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