22 December 2020

Khabib mocks ‘disappointing’ McGregor and reveals he expected Irishman to be ‘mentally tougher’

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has taunted rival Conor McGregor by labelling his performance in their fight two years ago ‘disappointing’.

Khabib and McGregor locked horns in the octagon in October 2018 in a fiery grudge match which ended with the Russian forcing his Irish counterpart to tap out in the fourth round.

When asked to reflect on that fight now, Khabib admits he expected more from McGregor.

Khabib announced his retirement earlier this year but it is thought he could fight again

(Tass/PA Images)

"Conor’s trash talk? Yes, he had talked for a while (in the fight), but when I started pushing him, he immediately switched to the ‘It’s just business’ mode," he said as reported by The Sun.

"I was even a bit disappointed. I expected him to be mentally tougher.  

"When I was ground-and-pounding him, talking to him, and he responded that it was just business.

"It looked like he was trying to calm me down to avoid a real beating, just like a son trying to justify himself in front of his angry father.

"Psychology is a very strong tool."

Khabib announced his retirement from MMA back in October immediately after extending his unbeaten record to 29-0 with a second round submission victory over Justin Gaethje.

However, recently the 32-year-old has hinted at a possible return to the UFC as he contemplates reaching his late father’s goal of reaching 30-0.

If Khabib does fight one last time it could come in a rematch with McGregor, providing The Notorious One comes through Dustin Poirier on January 23.

Last week, Khabib was named BBC Sports Personality’s World Sport Star of the Year for 2020 following his impressive win over Gaethje.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox