Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager has slammed Conor McGregor in an interview that makes a potential rematch between the UFC stars look increasingly unlikely.
Talk of the pair squaring off again intensified in the wake of the dramatic aftermath to their title fight at UFC 229.
The Russian’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, has poured cold eater on the idea though – telling ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that his team are targeted other fighters.
“We have bigger fish to fry,” he said.
“He’s (McGregor) in the past, we’ve just moved on. Right now he’s zero, he has no value, we don’t care about him, he can move on, enjoy his life, enjoy his family but he should be ashamed of himself for everything he said.
“If people back up a little bit, he almost got knocked out by a grappler. I guarantee you, if this guy’s going to keep talking and ask for a rematch, his family should try to stop him, his team should try to stop him, or they should get a life insurance for $100 million because he’ll be done.
“He says he want it but he don’t want it. How you want something like that? How you want a nightmare hunting you for 25 minutes? You have to understand, Khabib carried this boy.
“Khabib could have finished in the first, second, third round. He finished him in the fourth round. He carried him to punish him.”
Abdelaziz then went on to say that it would be in the UFC’s best interests if McGregor didn’t fight his man again.
“I don’t think Dana (UFC president White) wanted him to fight Khabib too because at the end of the day Conor brings money but how’re you going to have one of your biggest guys in the sport get killed two times,” he said.
“We know he’s no good. Dana White knows he’s no good. When Dana White made this fight, he knew this fight was going to make money but he knew who was going to get humbled.”
The UFC boss reiterated the stance from Khabib’s team that a rematch with McGregor wasn’t the priority.
Speaking with ESPN, White was asked — As a fight fan, who he would like to see Nurmagomedov face next? His answer, without hesitation, was the former lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson.
“As a fight fan, you’ve gotta go with Tony (Ferguson),” White told ESPN. “Tony had the (lightweight) belt, tweaked his knee, got stripped, (McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov) happens. Tony never lost the belt in a fight.”
“Neither did Conor,” White continued, “But Conor actually got the opportunity to fight for the belt. I think Tony deserves the next shot.”