Former UFC champ champ Conor McGregor recently took issue with lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov's determination that it did not appear feasible to fight Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 on April 18 during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Nurmagomedov responded in an interview with ESPN's Brett Okamoto.
“I no understand,” said Khabib, as transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting. “This guy talks about he’s in good shape but when I smash him last time he’s like, ‘My foot is blame’ or something like this. ‘It was not my good shape.’ How he right now is good shape? How we can talk about shape when I smash his face and he tap? He say ‘It was my bad shape, I was without shape, blah, blah, blah’ Now we talk about ‘I am good shape, I can come in.’
“Okay, a couple days ago he send message, ‘Hey people, take care of family, please, be safe, stay home, government ask us to stay home.’ Now he talks ‘I’m good shape, blah, blah, blah, someone has to fight, someone has to fly.’ This is fake. For me, it’s fake. I was always real. Maybe someone like, maybe someone don’t like, this is not my job. But I was always real, but this guy’s fake. What are you talking about, talking about his shape? He goes to some island and sits home all day, scared about this coronavirus but he don’t talk about this. He judges someone, ‘He has to fly here, he has to go there, he has to fight.’
“What happened, October 6th, 2018? When you have six-month training camp before the fight, you do everything that you can and you come inside the cage, you talk a lot of bad things before the fight, six months you train very hard, and you come inside the cage and tap like chicken. What are you talking about?”
“When I’m gonna be here, Tony’s maximum is interim champ. Conor’s always gonna be number two. Always. Always gonna be number two. He never can do nothing with me. Inside the cage, he’s zero. When we fight, what did he do? He did zero. Everybody talks about his standup, I give him all round, I stay with him all round.”
“Of course, when I’m gonna come back, Tony gonna be always, always there. And I really believe we’re gonna fight. I really want this. This is my dream fight. I want to show people I am on different level. My ground game, my striking game, my timing, my wrestling, my top control, my spirit, my fighting IQ, I am on different level.”
“My advice, send me location. I am on good shape. Anytime, anywhere, with anybody. I am the best lightweight in the world right now. I am undefeated and undisputed champion. I know these guys don’t like to hear this. Hey, remember, I am the undisputed and undefeated UFC lightweight champion - one of the greatest fighters of all time. I don’t want to say greatest, one of the greatest. Never lose fight. And now people want to say something to me? I know why, because they can’t become success like I am. ... When I’m gonna be here, these guys always gonna be No. 2.”