05 November 2020

Khabib could return for rematch with McGregor, says former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cormier

Khabib Nurmagomedov could be tempted into a return to the UFC for a rematch against Conor McGregor, according to former heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.

Khabib, 32, hung up his gloves after his second round stoppage win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October, insisting he could not continue fighting without his father, who died earlier this year following complications related to coronavirus.

Khabib retired from MMA immediately after his win over Justin Gaethje last month (Twitter: @ESPNStatsInfo)

But Cormier, who is friends with Khabib, has hinted that he is not certain whether or not the Russian could be persuaded into making a comeback and extending his 29-0 unbeaten professional record.

"I think if you’re Dana White and the UFC, you’re hopeful that’s what Khabib wants to do, but like I said last week, if Khabib Nurmagomedov gives his word, generally that’s a fact," he told ESPN MMA.

"Now, would I be surprised with the economic impact that a fight he could have that could bring him back? No, and I would not judge him for that if he came back.

"He’s 32 years old for God’s sake and he can still beat everybody in the world. But there are things that if he says it’s his word, I take him at that.”

Khabib’s father Abdulmanap had always wanted his son to reach 30-0 as a pro, something he is currently one win short of.

And Cormier believes a super-fight against Irish star McGregor is the one which stands out as the obvious choice to try and reach that milestone.

McGregor is set to return to the UFC in January (SIPA USA/PA Images)

"Could you imagine if McGregor gets ahold of the interim championship and now you go to Khabib and go, ‘Hey, October, Abu Dhabi, you and McGregor again, boatloads of money?'," he added.

"Because now, you’re Khabib, you walked away, you could say, ‘I want more,’ and there’s a good chance you’ll probably get more because that’s a home run.

"It’s a home run, you and McGregor."

UFC boss Dana White recently revealed McGregor and Dustin Poirier have signed for a fight in January.

It will be McGregor’s first bout in 12 months following his retirement earlier this year.

In his last contest at the beginning of 2020, the Irishman sensationally knocked out Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds.

It will be the second time he faces Poirier having already knocked him out in the first round six years ago.

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