Former two-weight world champion, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor has been involved in a heated rivalry with current lightweight best, Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov for years now, but last night, the Dubliner heaped praise on the recent UFC 254 victor.
McGregor, who himself is preparing for an expected lightweight division return opposite 2014 opponent and former interim champion, Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier – in a rematch Dana White called a done deal, unsuccessfully tackled Khabib in a heated October 2018 meeting.
Returning to the Octagon for the first time since his UFC 205 lightweight title success against Eddie ‘The Underground King’ Alvarez, the Dubliner dropped a fourth-round neck-crank defeat to Khabib in a heated back-and-forth which culminated with an infamous post-fight brawl at the UFC 229 event.
In the time since, Khabib, who recently announced his decision to retire from professional mixed martial arts at October’s UFC 254, has scored title unification wins over common-foe, Poirier, and interim best, Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje.
For McGregor, the Straight Blast Gym staple has featured just once in the Octagon since – taking home another welterweight win in January of this year in a stunning forty-second knockout triumph over former 155-pound title challenger, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone.
While he has sights set of Poirier in January coming, as well as a potential second professional boxing outing, this time opposite world champion, Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao – McGregor engaged on a Q&A session on his official Twitter last night under the hashtag, AskNotorious – where the 32-year-old called Khabib “a phenomenal grappler” but insisted he’s still the undefeated Dagestani’s kryptonite.
“A phenomenal grappler fighter,” McGregor replied when asked for his honest thoughts on Khabib. “The current best in the sport with it. I’ve the answer however and they know it.“
While McGregor has avenged his only other Octagon defeat against Nate Diaz in a welterweight rematch at UFC 202 – the Crumlin native has persistently voiced his eagerness to score an eventual re-run with Khabib, although the 29-0 grappler’s current plans are unknown, with the above-noted White detailing how he believes Khabib will continue his career in search of an undefeated 30-0 professional record.