Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has stated that he believes Conor McGregor will never again be the fighter he once was.
Conor McGregor is coming off back-to-back losses against Dustin Poirier. The most recent took place at UFC 264, where McGregor broke his tibia, leading to a doctor’s stoppage at the end of the first round.
Speaking with ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto, Khabib Nurmagomedov stated McGregor is now past his prime, both physically and mentally.
“Last couple of years, he not hungry. And now what happened with his leg, never ever. Never people come back… People never going to be on the same prime twice. Prime comes only one time. Your gonna be on prime, after it, your gonna go down,” said Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“This is not my opinion. This is what history shows us. When you take like this damage, you never gonna be the same, never ever.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s thoughts on Conor McGregor’s UFC future
Khabib Nurmagomedov believes McGregor can take one of two paths should he wish to continue his MMA career. He can either take fights similar to his welterweight matchup with Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, which will make him look good and pay well, though they will not get him a UFC title.
Or he could attempt to face the top fighters in the division in search of another UFC title. Khabib clarifies that he does not believe things will end well for the Irishman if he pursues this second path.
“If you gonna fight with Cowboy Cerrone, you gonna look good,” said Khabib Nurmagomedov. “You gonna be like lion. But if you gonna fight guys who are on the top, who are really the best in the world. Dustin Poirier, this fight gonna show your level. Ok fight with Cowboy, these fights, be lion, make money, it’s smart. But if you wanna become champion, if you wanna fight like Beneil (Dariush), Islam (Makhachev), Charles (Oliveira), Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje. These guys lions. These guys gonna show your level.”
McGregor has already made it clear he wishes to face Poirier a fourth time. However, ‘The Diamond’ will fight UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira to finally capture the 155lb belt.