Ever since their fateful first match-up at UFC 229 last fall, the discussion of how a rematch between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor would play out has been a hot topic in mixed martial arts (MMA). Like many, Joe Rogan doesn’t think there is much of a discussion.
That’s obviously due to the one-sided nature of their first fight. Khabib took McGregor down at will and eventually submitted him via neck crank in the fourth round. Still, McGregor has campaigned for an immediate rematch. ‘The Eagle’ appears set to face interim champion Dustin Poirier at September’s UFC 242 from Abu Dhabi, however.
According to Rogan, that’s a good thing. The UFC commentator revealed on his Joe Rogan Experience podcast that he believes McGregor’s true hunger to fight is gone after his 2017 payday to box Floyd Mayweather:
“Oh for sure. He ain’t hungry at all. He’s got $100 million dollars. But I think he still loves to compete. But there’s no hunger anymore, there ain’t no hunger. Like, he might be hungry for success, but there’s no desperation. He has a lot to lose now, too.
“It’s a different thing. He enters into the fight with $100 million in the bank, it’s a very different experience than entering into the fight with $1 million and hoping you can make 3 more tonight, like many, I’m sure, fights he’s had in the past. It’s a different world. He can do whatever he wants forever. He’s still only 30. He’s young, man. To be set for the rest of your life at 30 is kind of f***ing bananas.”
Rogan believes that if McGregor were to refocus solely on his fighting legacy, he could regain that hunger because he’s not yet at his peak:
“I don’t think he’s at his peak as a fighter. So if he just decides, ‘who gives a f** about the money, I’m here to leave a legacy and I’m just going to train like a demon,’ and he kicks aside all of the bad influences and all the bad influences and all the distractions in his life and just focuses on training, he’s a motherf***er, man. You saw what he did to Aldo, you saw what he did to Chad Mendes, you saw what he did to Dustin Poirier, I mean, he is a bad motherf***er, period.”
But even if he did so, Rogan offered his belief that McGregor would always have problems with Khabib’s world-class wrestling:
“Um, yeah, I mean, he’s always going to have a problem with Khabib. Khabib’s wrestling is so high-level, it’s so different. He smothers you in a way that you think have good takedown defense until you run into that motherf***er. He just gets ahold of everyone, he does it to everyone.
“Whether you’re Michael Johnson or Edson Barboza, no matter how good your takedown defense was in the past. In the Barboza fight, he basically just waded towards him. Waded through the fury of leg kicks and punches and just, ‘clamp, drag, smash.’ And that’s what he does to everybody, man.”