McGregor blasts Khabib for dodging rematch – promises magic at UFC 257

Conor McGregor blasts Khabib Nurmagomedov’s ‘lack of courage’ and claims rival is running scared from rematch as Irishman vows to ‘put on flawless clinic’ and ‘bust up’ Dustin Poirier in UFC 257 showdown

  • Conor McGregor is preparing to make return to octagon in UFC 257 main event 
  • Irishman has promised to ‘create magic’ with flawless performance on Saturday 
  • He said he will ‘bust up’ Dustin Poirier despite having respect for ‘Diamond’ 
  • McGregor also thinks Khabib Nurmagomedov is running scared from rematch  

Conor McGregor is promised to ‘create magic’ in a ‘flawless clinic’ against Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 this Saturday. 

The Irishman claims to be on razor sharp form and predicts that he’ll dismantle ‘Diamond’ inside 60 seconds before lining up the rest of the lightweight division. 

He discounts old rival Khabib from that equation and hit out at the now-retired pound-for-pound No 1 for ‘lacking the courage’ to rematch him after their infamous UFC 229 fight, which the Russian won before starting a mass brawl. 

Conor McGregor believes Khabib Nurmagomedov is avoiding a rematch against him 

Khabib beat McGregor in their infamous UFC 229 bout and has retired at the top of the game

The Irishman has promised to ‘bust up’ Dustin Poirier in Saturday’s UFC 257 main event 

Dana White held talks with the lightweight champion in Abu Dhabi about his interest in a comeback and the Dagestani said he needs to see something spectacular this weekend to be motivated out of retirement. 

McGregor told BT Sport: ‘It sounded like a no to me, which is what it is. He doesn’t want to get in there with me, that’s for damn sure, I can see it all over him. 

‘And then if your man has the courage to step in… I don’t think he has the courage, he saw what happened to his team-mate Daniel Cormier. Daniel beat Stipe, wouldn’t give him the rematch, gave him the rematch and was beaten two times on the trot, that takes courage to do that. Look at Diaz, a real fighter who stepped in straight away. If you’re so confident why not? What’s the problem? It’s a mental break and that’s what I feel happened.

‘I like the lightweight landscape at the minute. I’m not really focused on him, although I want that rematch of course, I’m not in the business of waiting around. After this, if negotiations start faltering to the end of the year… I want to go again.’

Having retired out of frustration last year at the lack of action, McGregor is only committed to regular competition now, whether Khabib returns or not and talked up his options. 

He said: ‘There’s a co-main event again, a good, solid co-main on this card, Nate Diaz talking about 155, you’ve got Charles Oliveira, you’ve got Justin Gaethje, there’s loads there. I’m here for competition. Line them up.’

All of those opportunities will open up for McGregor if he beats Poirier as the bookies expect him to do on Fight Island this Saturday. 

‘The Notorious’ also anticipates a short night of work given how strong he’s been feeling in training. 

He added: ‘I want to create highlights, create magic, all the other stuff like belts will come. I’ve got about at belts in my house, not that new one though, I’ve got a place for it, there’a an Irish flag on it and I’m the sole reason for that.

‘I’m going to put on a flawless performance here, an absolute clinic. I’m confident at all ranges, I’ve never been more confident in my endurance than I have been now. 

‘And I know Dustin and his team may take a bit of disrespect from me saying I’m going to knock him out in 60 seconds, well I know it works both ways. Them saying about the conditioning thing, we’ll see about that. 

‘If you can last through the trauma that I’m going to bring to you, we’ll see who has the endurance and what you’re about. 

McGregor believes his cardio has improved dramatically over the last 12 months

‘All my skills are on fire at the minute. Pinpoint precision, my kicks, my punches, my knees, my wrestling, my grappling, clinch, bring it on. This is the best version there has ever been. Until the next one.’

Despite his proclamation about the manner in which he’ll finish Poirier, McGregor has respect for the American and has been inspired by his charitable work, something the Dubliner was credited for earlier in the coronavirus pandemic as he took on a leadership role and even donated €1million for PPE equipment.

He continued: ‘Me and Dustin are competitive fighters and there’s still that “I’m going to whoop you”, in us but there is something else going on, I’m very impressed by how he handles himself and what him and his wife are doing with the Good Fight Foundation. That’s where I’m going with my career and my life, I feel much more whole over it. 

‘I knew people would listen to what I had to say and just wanted to get my piece out. I wanted a lockdown straight off the bat to be honest just to get a real grasp of it, you were seeing people dropping on the streets in other countries and it was like, “What is going on here?”. 

The first meeting between Saturday’s combatants ended with McGregor winning in round one

Charles Oliveira (right) was one of the names listed by McGregor as a possible opponent

‘We sourced the PPE equipment so I did everything I could. I want to do my part, it’s our duty as humans and as I get older, as my children grow, I’m delving into that a lot more.’

McGregor’s children and family life with fiancee Dee Devlin appears to have positively impacted him over the last 12 months. 

He joked that he’s using the weight cut to set an example for his son Conor Junior. 

McGregor went on: ‘You know when you’re cutting weight you start craving things and I saw these American pancakes online and thought “Jeez I can’t wait to get into a plate of them with a nice Proper Irish coffee with it”. 

‘I’ve been sat here with my son the last couple of days and he’s just been ordering pancakes. I’ve just been looking at him with the pancakes, icing and everything. My son sees the work I put in, my daughter is still young but it will rub off on them. He will have grown up in a very different life to me, so I always relay to him the work that it takes.’

McGregor and his coach John Kavanagh (right) both believe this is the best he’s ever been

The 32-year-old seems to have matured as an individual and the noises coming from himself and his camp are overwhelmingly positive.  

Despite the lack of verbal jousting between McGregor and Poirier, there is no question in the former two-weight champion’s mind about how Saturday’s main event will go. 

‘It was a long time ago (their first fight in 2014), two kids we were, I was riling him up and you never know, there’s still that in us, it’s going to be a good fight, competitive fire in it but there is respect for sure. 

‘I have a lot of admiration for the man. But I’m going to bust him up, there’s no doubts about it, no ifs ands or buts, he’s getting bust up.’

BT Sport Box Office will show UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2 exclusively live from 3am on Saturday 23rd January. UFC 257 can be watched on BT TV, Virgin TV, Sky, online via the web or the BT Sport Box Office App and is available to buy at

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