Ever since Khabib Nurmagomedov handily defeated Conor McGregor in the main event of October 6’s UFC 229, talk of an immediate rematch has been swirling.
At first, UFC President Dana White was lukewarm on the subject. He initially said McGregor needed another fight to work back to the champion. However, potential for the rematch has been heating up as of late. White admitted that the bout may be a possibility for 2019.
Of course, it’s not for a lack of trying on McGregor’s part. The Irish star was recently spotted calling Khabib – along with boxing rival Paulie Malignaggi – “broke b*****s’ on social media. Khabib issued his own response shortly thereafter.
But it’s been his manager Ali Abdelaziz who has been the most vocal in terms of calling out ‘The Notorious.’ The Dominance MMA Management frontman has consistently called out McGregor for his profit-focused approach to MMA. That was again the case in a recent Instagram post. Abdelaziz called McGregor a “prostitute’ before deleting it (via The Sun):
“Conor McGregor. Seriously dude stop embarrassing yourself, your family and your country. You tal
“”After Khabib Nurmagomedov beat
A Double-Edged Sword
While Abdelaziz has repeatedly blasted McGregor for supposedly whoring himself out for money, it’s also a bit of an oxymoron. The prominent MMA manager has also said Khabib will only set foot into the Octagon for the biggest payday next, something rightful top contender Tony Ferguson is not.
If Khabib’s camp is truly focused on only the fight that will make them the most money, there’s not a better option than MMA’s biggest star. McGregor still carries that title even though he has lost his last two bouts. One was in boxing, true, but in a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately sport like MMA, he hasn’t won a fight since 2016.
That sounds brutal on paper, and McGregor’s star power could be declining if he doesn’t win soon. A rematch with Khabib is arguably the toughest match-up for him. Another loss would definitely be devastating for his star power. It’s also the quickest way for him to skyrocket back to the top of MMA.
What are your thoughts? Should the UFC gamble on destroying McGregor’s star power and grant him the rematch with Khabib?