Khabib Nurmagomedov responds to prospect of Conor McGregor rematch next year
Khabib Nurmagomedov has shot down the possibility of a rematch with Conor McGregor in 2020.
The bitter rivals clashed last year with the Russian winning by fourth-round submission to seemingly settle their rivalry.
Nurmagomedov went on to defend his lightweight belt again when he choked out Dustin Poirier in September, while McGregor has been sidelined.
But the Irishman will return to the UFC next month when he faces Donald Cerrone at welterweight.
And the company's president Dana White has claimed that victory for McGregor – coupled with a triumph for Nurmagomedov over Tony Ferguson – would see the pair clash again .
But Nurmagomedov poured cold water on that prospect when he said: "I think Cerrone has lost seven or eight of his last 10 fights and the other one (McGregor) is going into his fourth year with no victories.
"It's like the minor leagues – it really doesn't matter who wins there.
"I'm surprised that Dana White is saying that if Conor beats Cerrone and I beat Tony Ferguson that there will be a rematch. I decide who I fight next.
"To fight me he has to cut weight first, down to 70kg, and then win 10 fights in a row like I did, then we'll think about a rematch.
"But for now he can fight second-rate fighters who lose seven out of 10 fights at 77kg, but to think he deserves the lightweight belt… well I'm champion so that won't happen, don't worry."
There had been widespread surprise when White claimed McGregor could jump straight to a rematch with victory over Cerrone.
Justin Gaethje has established himself as a contender at 155lb and could claim to be worthy of a shot first – or at least an 'eliminator' against the Dubliner.
But White told ESPN: "Look what Conor has done over the last however many years.
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