Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father says his son is up for a rematch against Conor McGregor, and would even hand the Irishman a clear advantage

Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov would be interested in a rematch against Conor McGregor, according to the fighter’s father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.
  • However, a rematch would not be fought using mixed martial arts rules in the UFC, but using boxing rules in a ring.
  • Abdulamanap Nurmagomedov believes his son has shown extraordinary striking qualities in his most recent bouts, and is confident he can replicate that success in the ring.
  • McGregor has fought one boxing fight before, and recently explained that he would consider a return.
  • A rematch in boxing is therefore not beyond the realm of impossibility.

Conor McGregor has been clamoring for a rematch against Khabib Nurmagomedov – and according to the Russian wrestler’s father, the Irishman may finally get his wish.

McGregor lost to Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October. He was dominated in the UFC lightweight championship title fight, dropped with a thudding right hand in the second round, and submitted for good with a tight neck crank in the fourth.

But regardless of the heavy defeat, McGregor immediately campaigned for a rematch as he recognised he made many mistakes in the build-up to the bout, as well as in the fight itself.

Nurmagomedov’s father and mentor, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, is “interested” in a rematch and would even concede a massive advantage to McGregor.

Abdulamanap is ready to explore a fight away from mixed martial arts, which would mean his son Khabib would not be able to engage in any grappling, wrestling, or ground-and-pound strategies – techniques that proved so successful at UFC 229. Instead, Abdulamanap is interested in a rematch fought using boxing rules.

“This is a fight we are interested in,” Abdulmanap told Russian daily newspaper Izvestia, according to the Irish Mirror. “Khabib showed that he is able to beat the best strikers of mixed martial arts. He said this before, but few believed it. However, after strong victories over Michael Johnson, Edson Barboza, and Conor, people begin to believe.”

Nurmagomedov has been linked with a boxing fight against the unbeaten prizefighter Floyd Mayweather, a retired boxer who lifted world titles in five weight classes during an illustrious career. Mayweather even said “oh, we fighting,” when asked about a possible Nurmagomedov bout in October.

Weeks later, Nurmagomedov held a meeting with the Russian Boxing Federation to discuss the Floyd Mayweather fight, and said he wanted to host it in Moscow in front of 100,000 fans.

Competing in a boxing ring is something Nurmagomedov is clearly interested in, and Abdulamanap’s recent comments have only furthered the legitimacy of this pursuit.

“Nurmagomedov is able to do it in the boxing ring,” Abdulamanap said. “Khabib has all the skills to win by the rules of boxing. One of the key skills can be called endurance.”

He added: “I remember his five round fight with Iaquinta, in which Khabib showed his willingness to fight in absolutely any area, using everything from a light left jab to control on the ground. I want to note that the fight with Iaquinta was of great importance for us, there was a title belt at stake and it was important to keep the bout calm, and take the win. Which we did.”

Combat sports website said the prospect of a boxing match between the two UFC fighters “isn’t so far fetched” when you consider the boxing promotion Zuffa Boxing is a fledgling UFC organisation.

Additionally, Nurmagomedov’s meeting with the Russian Boxing Federation, together with McGregor’s own ambitions in the sport, mean this could be something the UFC explores in the near future.