As you likely know, McGregor faced Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 last October. While McGregor had some solid moments, and landed his fair share of strikes, Khabib controlled much of the fight with his wrestling and top game. In round four, Nurmagomedov defended his lightweight crown by forcing McGregor to tap with a nasty looking, neck crank.
Well, recently McGregor sat down with Tony Robbins, and once again, the Irish fighter relayed he wants to fight Nurmagomedov again. In addition, the former featherweight and lightweight champ said this (quotes via MMA Weekly):
“Two and a half weeks before my last fight, I threw a front kick at a shooting Moldovan wrestler. When he shot and I threw the front kick, I threw it at his belly and my two toes, the baby toe and the toe next to it, bent back like this and stuck in that position. My doctor had to come into the cage had to stretch it and break it back into place and my foot swelled like a balloon,” McGregor said. That was two and a half weeks before the last fight. I wanted to compete and I wanted to get in there.”
“Obviously the injury — the injury itself led me to, I had to half my work. I couldn’t road run anymore. I wasn’t [fully prepared]. My weight was too high. So when you’re cutting weight, if I can’t get my weight down because of injuries or what not, I have a more intense weight cut. So I was severely dehydrated. I didn’t sleep for 48 hours before the weight cut.”
Now, McGregor went on to say that these are “nonsensical excuses” that he doesn’t care about, but clearly, he wanted the public to know about the injury and its impact. Of course, Khabib boosters and his team will just argue that it wouldn’t have made a difference whether McGregor was 100% or not.
McGregor also talked about the fact that in his camp, he spent most of his time working on grappling and takedown defense. In hindsight, McGregor believes he should have focused more on attacking, the idea being his offense is his defense.
All this aside, as it stands right now, it’s hard to imagine McGregor getting a rematch with Khabib, without recording another win in the Octagon. Khabib is expected to face interim champ Dustin Poirier sometime before the year is up.