Khabib Nurmagomedov is the most dominant champion in UFC history – and might go down as the best fighter ever.
But he’ll never be as a big a star as Conor McGregor and will always be linked to the Irish superstar after their chaotic war at UFC 229.
You just sense the 28-0 Dagestani wishes he could do an interview with mainstream media without having to continually be asked about McGregor.
Case in point his appearance on ESPN’s First Take with Stephen A Smith and Max Kellerman on Wednesday morning.
Just four days out from his defence against dangerous challenger Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 and likely preparing for another tough weight cut, Khabib was in a serious mood as he answered questions about his legacy and the problems Gaethje posed.
But his blood started to boil when he was asked about the prospect of facing the winner of a mooted McGregor-Dustin Poirier fight early next year.
Nurmagomedov has beaten both men already and had no interest in a rematch.
“I finished both of them,” he said. “And finished both with a dominant performance. I’m not interested in these guys because I need something new. I need new blood, new energy. Justin Gaethje is giving me new motivation. He’s the real deal right now.
“If I think about both Dustin and Conor, they don’t give me good energy. They don’t give me motivation. Fight? For what? My legacy? I already put these guys on my desk. I already beat them. Everything is finished with these guys.”
But Stephen A dared to put one more question to Khabib, asking if he didn’t want to fight McGregor because it would give his rival attention he didn’t deserve – and the champ said enough.
“Right now, I don’t want to talk about this s***,” he said, while delivering a stare that could freeze a flame.
Stephen A could only smile, while Kellerman jumped in and said: “Understood.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov when asked about Conor McGregor:
"Right now, I don't even want to talk about this s—." 🤬 #UFC254pic.twitter.com/SRNhBvLCBm
Khabib went on to say he still dreamt of fighting retired welterweight king Georges St Pierre but wasn’t sure if the Canadian wanted to return to the octagon – or could make the 155-pound lightweight limit.
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