Khabib Nurmagomedov’s coach has hosed down talk of a rematch with Conor McGregor, saying the Irishman has regressed and is no longer worthy.
McGregor suffered the first KO loss of his career on Sunday in his first fight in the Octagon in over a year.
Dustin Poirier scored a sensational victory over McGregor at UFC 257, decking him in the second round to put himself in pole position for another crack at the lightweight title.
Despite claiming he’s retired from UFC, Khabib still currently holds the title and is said to be considering a return to the Octagon.
And while many would love to see McGregor get his rematch with Khabib after a loss at UFC 229 in 2018, Khabib’s coach says it will never happen.
“He would’ve got smashed. Khabib’s gotten better. He would’ve gotten smashed. Straight up. Khabib’s better,” Javier Mendez told Submission Radio.
“He’s better than he was when they fought two years ago. Conor didn’t appear to be better.
“He’s regressed a little bit. Khabib’s gotten way better. He would have gotten smashed. You’re never gonna get that rematch.
“Just like you’re never going to get the Tony and Khabib fight. That’s never gonna happen either.
“It’s not gonna happen. I mean, Khabib doesn’t need it. He seems fulfilled.”
Khabib was quick to stick the boot in after watching McGregor get KO’d at UFC 257.
“This is what happened, when you change your team, leave the sparring partners who made you a champion and sparring with little kids, far away from reality,” he wrote on social media.
McGregor hit back in his post-fight press conference by challenging Khabib to a rematch.
“My team has been the team since day one, I've not changed any team,” he responded.
“It is what it is, respect the athletes and that’s the character of the man for sure, behind the mask.
“What does he want to do, does he want to come back or not?
“Because he's not throwing any leg kicks. I got up off the ground against Dustin, I turned Dustin.
“Like I said styles make fights, every fight is a different fight. But if he wants to have his disrespectful comments come back and lets go again my man. I'm here for it.
“That's fighting talk so if you’re coming back come back and you try and do it.”
This is what happened, when you change your team, leave the sparring partners who made you a champion and sparring with little kids, far away from reality.
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) January 24, 2021
McGregor cops brutal new blow after KO loss
McGregor’s hopes of rematching with Khabib took a further hit this week when the UFC released its updated fighter rankings.
The Irishman has fallen outside the top five fighters in the lightweight division and is now the No.6 contender for Khabib’s title.
Poirier jumped up to No.1 contender following his KO of McGregor, while Justin Gaethje, Charles Oliveira, Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson round out the top five.
Updated UFC lightweight rankings. pic.twitter.com/MjH83thGur
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) January 26, 2021
Making matters worse for McGregor, he won’t be able to fight again until July after copping a six-month medical suspension.
Under strict UFC protocols, fighters who have been knocked out face lengthy stints on the sidelines to ensure they are back to full health before fighting again.
When asked if he plans on fighting again in 2021, McGregor said: “Of course. I need activity, guys, come on. You don’t get away with being inactive and that’s the way it is.
“I’ll take my licks. I’m gutted, to be honest. I’m gutted. I put so much work in.
“I put in a lot of work, I’m proud of my work. I would’ve liked to have represented my team a little bit better.
“But we’ll get to go again and that’s it.”
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