Khabib Nurmagomedov: Conor McGregor a “fake contender”

Khabib Nurmagomedov continues to push back at the idea of a rematch between him and Conor McGregor.

The undefeated UFC lightweight champion insists that McGregor is not a real contender. “For my legacy, I have to beat tough opponents like Dustin Poirier, like … Tony Ferguson. I have to beat all of them who’s real contenders, not fake contenders,” Nurmagomedov told TMZ Sports.

Nurmagomedov was not impressed by McGregor’s quick knockout victory over Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, citing Cerrone’s poor win percentage in recent fights and the fight not having taken place at lightweight, saying: “He has to fight with really tough opponents like Justin Gaethje or something like this, and … he have to cut weight; this is just my opinion.”

Khabib suggests that McGregor is hand-picking opponents to boost his case for a rematch: “He just choose, ‘OK, who’s going to be my next fight? Like, I need easy fight.’”

While firmly opposed to a rematch, Nurmagomedov concedes that it would be a massive payday as well as a massive event, although he thinks most people believe Conor has little chance to win a second fight. “People just want to see big drama show,” he said.

“If we’re talking about money, this is good. If we’re talking about drama, this is good. If we’re talking about real lightweight contender or real lightweight championship fight, this is not good.”

Nurmagomedov is set to face former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in Brooklyn on April 18th.

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