Despite his next bout being more likely to be with Tony Ferguson for an interim title, Nurmagomedov releases a mock up of a poster for a fight with McGregor in Russia. Asked whether he will fight Tony Ferguson in his next bout:
100%. There are already negotiations, 90 % sure it will happen. Why? Because Conor is pregnant, he has to give birth, and then recover until summer. I can’t wait until summer, I have missed out on 2 years of my career, I don’t want to miss out long periods of time again.
Edgar’s coach says McGregor still has to get past Edgar and Nurmagomedov to be considered the greatest fighter of all time. Henry:
I’d say he’d be the greatest if he beat Frankie and Khabib. Then I’d put him as the greatest. But until he does that, I still think he’s one of the greats…He’s never defended the featherweight title. He says he’s cleaned out the division, but until you fight Frankie, you haven’t cleaned it out. If he fought Frankie he’d be able to say that as he’s already fought Holloway, he’s already fought Aldo and he’s already fought Mendes. But he’s never fought Frankie. I think Frankie has been a staple as one of the best fighters ever. And he’s definitely a staple at 145lbs. It doesn’t matter that he beat Aldo and Frankie didn’t because you could say, ‘whoever beat Nate Diaz can beat McGregor’ and that’s not true. That’s just stupid even saying that.
Nurmagomedov says a fight with McGregor is not about the money.
I care only about belt. I have a lot of money…I want to take him down, speak with him, slap him, make him nervous … like, ‘Hey, get up! Let’s go! Where is your boxing?’ … play with him and make him give up. This is what I want. But I don’t want to finish him 1st round, 2nd round, 3rd round … I want to fight with him for 25 minutes like five rounds and I want to make him look very bad. And finish his hype.
He also talks about his run in with McGregor backstage at UFC 205.
When I finish my weigh in I meet him. He watch me I ask him, ‘why you watch?’. I tell him ‘I am not Eddie Alvarez or Tyron Woodley’. If somebody watch me like crazy I can go crazy too.
Nurmagomedov posts a private message he sent to McGregor.
Conor you the Champion now you need to fight with me. If you run every time you look in the mirror you not going to respect yourself, your kids not going to respect you, your friends, your family won’t respect you. Die like a Samurai don’t chicken out please. I know I’m bad matchup for you but you the champion and you need to fight the best. It’s ok. Die like Irish warrior don’t run like chicken. Irish people have history and fight for long time you need to represent your people with honor.
McGregor’s striking coach says he would like to see him fight for a third belt, preferring Woodley or Diaz over Nurmagomedov. Roddy:
Maybe [Tyron] Woodley,. For me, for him to go up and compete for a third belt [welterweight], maybe Woodley. [Nate] Diaz again is another great one. I think it’s what fans would want to see. They want to see something special again, the Diaz fight again is special. The Woodley fight is special…You can’t really doubt Khabib at this stage. He’s a phenomenal grappler and a phenomenal wrestler. But I don’t know whether the excitement is there, you know? Obviously for Conor it’s about the pay-per-views. It’s about the money. Whether Khabib will hit the pay-per-views for him I just don’t know…He poses a different threat so it would be good to sort of work out what strikes are going to land on him. He can be hit as well, I will say that. He got hit a bit in his last fight.
Henderson says that after watching Nurmagomedov fight at UFC 205, he would beat McGregor:
I think that kid that fought last weekend, I have trouble with his name, Magomedov, the Russian kid, that’s at 155 — I think he would definitely give Conor a huge problem. I think he definitely would take him down and beat the piss out of him…I don’t dislike him [McGregor]. I think it took me a while to kinda get onboard with him, just to see a little bit more well-roundedness. He’s always shown that he’s got good hands, good kicks, but to see him against a couple different wrestlers that had good hands, it took me awhile to get onboard with him. I think Eddie just did not fight a smart fight whatsoever. He didn’t use his wrestling whatsoever.
Lee says he didn’t realise that McGregor was in the stadium when he won.
If I knew Conor McGregor was sitting front row, I would have jumped the cage – damn…All Irish guys look alike. I wish I would have known. Somebody could have told me. They’re all just red beards and bald heads to me.
He also says that, as a wrestler, he has the skills to beat McGregor, and can beat Nurmagomedov:
[McGregor]’s the champ of this division now. I said it a while ago – I’ll be the champ. He’s 28. I’m 24. He ain’t got nothing on me but some years…I think after his last fight, he said you’ve got to have some height, some reach, some weight – I’m 195 pounds outside of fighting – 77-inch reach, 5-10, a hell of a wrestler, so this fight was about showcasing that I’m the best wrestler in this division…Everybody thinks that Khabib is the best wrestler, but this is good old-fashioned American wrestling…This ain’t that sambo shit. If you want to go out there, me and Khabib, no punches thrown, I’ll (technical fall) him, 15-0. I’ll keep taking him down, and he won’t do a damn thing about it.
Nurmagomedov’s trainer Mendez says McGregor is avoiding his fighter:
Yes, 100 percent, he is ducking Khabib. I know that from the words he is saying. ‘He doesn’t fight enough for my taste’? Give me a break. You can say, ‘Hey, I want to fight Nate Diaz a third time.’ Fine. Say that. But don’t try to put my guy down because you are trying to avoid him. Don’t belittle my guy. That’s bullshit…When [McGregor] fought Chad Mendes, I thought it proved he wasn’t ducking anybody. But now he’s doing this and I’m thinking he’s trying to avoid Khabib. I think Khabib, [lightweight contenders] Nate Diaz and Tony Ferguson all give Conor a hell of a fight—but the guy who gives him the worst time, by far, is Khabib. He’s the strongest grappler in the division.
In a trailer for The Thrill and the Agony, Nurmagomedov tells Johnson to give up while he is giving him a beating:
You have to give up. I need to fight for the title. You know this. I deserve it
Then he trash talks McGregor to White between rounds.
KH: Hey, be careful. I’m gonna smash your boy.
DW: Just get through this first
Nurmagomedov tells White he will leave the UFC is he does not get a title shot.
Nurmagomedov says he was calling White between rounds to talk about a potential McGregor fight.
I talk to Dana in between rounds. I said, ‘Hey, don’t send me no more of your fake contracts, I need real contracts. ‘ So he said, ‘Hey, you have to finish this fight.’ I told him, ‘You already know I deserve this. After this fight, you need to send me a real contract.’ And then he told me to go finish it. After I finished fight I told him I’m waiting for agreement; maybe in Brooklyn, UFC 209, why not? February, UFC 210 in Las Vegas. Anywhere, it doesn’t matter. Russia, Ireland, I can fight in his backyard, anywhere. I know all of you know I deserve this.
After his win against Johnson in the UFC 205 prelims, Nurmagomedov says he wants to fight McGregor.
I want to fight your chicken Let’s go with your chicken. I want to stay humble. But I have to talk because the other guys talk too much and … I understand the crazy power the UFC PR machine has. [McGregor], at the beginning of the year he tapped like a chicken but at the end of the year he is fighting for the title. Crazy.
The Mac Life releases a video of McGregor and Nurmagomedov facing off after the UFC 205 weigh-in. Nurmagomedov:
F-ck this guy. F-ck this motherf-cker.
Nurmagomedov says that, despite being sent two separate contracts for a title shot against Alvarez at UFC 205 and UFC 206, he has been used as a negotiating tool in order to get the real UFC 205 main event over the line.
When I signed agreement with @UFC it was sport. Now it became a freak show, or I don’t know how to call it right. Only thing that keeping me in this cracking sport, is that I don’t want to stop on the halfway, I wasn’t raised like this, not a quiter. I’ll keep moving forward InshaAllah.
White says he plans to have Alvarez defend his belt against Nurmagomedov, and McGregor to defend his belt against Aldo. Nurmagomedov says he has signed two contracts to fight Alvarez: one for UFC 205 in New York in November and another to fight him at UFC 206 in Toronto in December. However, Alvarez wants to fight McGregor, and McGregor appears to want to fight Alvarez. Reports of a McGregor injury affecting the fight are dismissed by White:
Conor’s foot is hurt, but he thinks he can fight. I want him to fight Aldo.
Alvarez wants to fight McGregor, because it’s an easy fight and it’s a lot of money to fight him. But he has to fight me. Dana White has told me, ‘He is fighting you. He has to fight you.’ His record is only 2-1 in the UFC and he loses like a chicken to Cowboy [Cerrone]. How did he even get a title shot? I don’t know why he is so scared to fight me…I would have to be careful in the first [round] because he does punch hard. In the second, I would start to catch him and in the third, I’d finish him. Mentally, he’s already lost to me…All I want is 25 minutes in the cage with Alvarez…Put me in a cage somewhere with him and lock the door. Then I can show the world who the best really is.
Nurmagomedov says he should be given the title shot against Alvarez, not McGregor.
I want to fight at 205 in New York, maybe fight with Eddie Alvarez. I love this fight. I want to fight for the belt. All fans, coaches, fighters, analytics, everybody agrees and knows who deserves this title shot. I deserve it. I am No. 1 ranked. Why UFC put me on No. 1 ranking if they don’t want to give me title shot? Why do they make rankings? Conor McGregor fights in the UFC in a lighter division and the UFC wants to give him title shot? I think this is No. 1 bullshit. They cannot give him a title shot because he’s never fought with the top guys, like top five, top 10 in the lightweight division, and they want to give him title shot?..I’m still focused. If the UFC gives him a title shot, it’s okay. I’m a little bit not happy and at the same time I’m a little bit happy, because if the UFC gives him a title shot and he becomes lightweight champion and I win somebody like a top five guy, then we have to fight and he has to fight with me.
Schaub says Alvarez would not fight McGregor at UFC 205 because UFC will not pay him enough, and it is likely that McGregor will have to fight Nurmagomedov, and Alvarez will miss UFC 205.
From what I hear, Eddie Alvarez was complaining to the UFC brass that he wanted more money to fight Conor McGregor. He wanted pay-per-view points, he wanted a certain amount of money and the UFC, you know Joe Silva’s going out on his shield, were like, you wanna do what? Looking at the whole picture… if Conor wants that 155 belt, now he’s gotta get through Khabib Nurmagomedov. Who’s gonna beat that guy? Unless he beats himself. Unless he gets injured, no one’s beating that guy. I don’t see it happening, not even close. And for Conor, it’s the worst match up at 155. I think for Conor, it’s a tough fight, but I can see him beating Eddie Alvarez. Khabib? I mean that guy’s gonna be the champ. It’s very short sighted by the UFC. Pay Eddie more money. What do you guys fu*king care? Madison Square Garden, how much money do you need? Pay the guy more money. Unless he’s asking for like 10 million or some ridiculous number… It’s very short sighted.
In response to a fan question on Twitter, White says UFC 205 will feature Alvarez vs Nurmagomedov, not McGregor. No official statement has been released by White or the UFC regarding McGregor or Aldo’s next fight as of yet.