“They picked a good opponent … an opponent that never won anything serious,” Nurmagomedov said at a press conference in Russia, referring to the UFC’s booking of McGregor vs. Cerrone. “It’s just a well-organized circus.”
Prior to UFC 246, Nurmagomedov called the matchup a “minor league” fight, citing Cerrone’s recent losing skid and McGregor having not won since 2016.
Khabib also asserted that by having McGregor fight Cerrone, the UFC could give McGregor an easy opponent who also has quite a bit of name value. “Few people know those details [about the sport], others just don’t care who’s fighting and how, who he fought in the past, who the opponent is. They don’t know anything. They just watch the fight, and UFC works very well with that.”
“Cerrone lost seven out of his last 10 fights. A man comes out 10 times and loses seven, and he gets called a legend? Well, let him be a legend, but his time is up.”
McGregor has been pushing for a rematch with Khabib, but Nurmagomedov seems insistent upon refusing, in spite of how lucrative it would surely be.