clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Khabib's head coach lobbies for Conor McGregor rematch at Dallas Cowboys Stadium

The talks of a rematch between UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and MMA superstar Conor McGregor continue to heat up.

Not only does UFC president Dana White anticipate a rematch between the two lightweights in 2019, but White recently announced that McGregor is eager to get back to fighting and become a world champion again. That may not seem like big time news, but it should be considering McGregor hasn’t been the most active MMA fighter over the past few years.

Now Khabib’s head coach, Javier Mendez, is adding to the speculation. According to Mendez, he’d prefer to see Khabib fight McGregor next due mostly to the selling power of the rematch. Mendez believes other matchups at 155 pounds exist for Nurmagomedov, but nothing that will equate to the prize of fighting “Notorious.”

“I look at this as more of a prizefight than I do sport. I want the biggest prizefight and the biggest prizefight hands down is, there’s no comparison, it’s Conor,” Mendez said on the “Off the Brawl MMA” show (h/t MMA Fighting). “Obviously, I want a rematch, because that’s what it is, the biggest prizefight, right? Because of what happened the last time there’s more interest on the second one, there’s a rematch to be had. For me, I would rather have that.”

“There is nobody in MMA that can bring that kind of money that Khabib and Conor can in the rematch,” he added. “That’s the reason I would want that, but Khabib may want a different thing, Khabib may want Tony [Ferguson]. It’s hard to say because Jan. 29th hasn’t happened.

“We don’t know what [NAC] are going to do, how long they’ll be suspended, how much money…but from my point of view I would want the rematch for the prizefight. It’s bigger, it’s three or four times as much.”

Mendez isn’t lying. Khabib’s first encounter with McGregor back at UFC 229, which ended in a fourth-round submission win for the Russian champion, produced a record-breaking 2.4 million pay-per-view (PPV) buys. While that had a lot to do with McGregor’s Octagon return following a 2017 boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, the bad blood between Team Khabib and Team McGregor also added to the marketability of the fight.

If a rematch between Khabib and McGregor were to take place Mendez believes it could be bigger than their first lightweight affair. The American Kickboxing Academy frontman even has a venue in mind to help create a bigger spectacle.

“We don’t know with Conor, he’s so rich with his Proper 12. I hear it’s doing fantastic. He’s got a great image, bro. He appears to be a helluva businessman,” Mendez said. “Now’s the time to strike while the iron is hot, I say Cowboys Stadium. That would do the pay-per-view numbers; that would do everything. I think now is the time to consider doing something like that.

“It would be the right place for a stadium show. Vegas would be the right place if they built the Raiders stadium in time, but that won’t be built in time.”

Seems like McGregor was already ahead of the game.

At this point, everything hinders on Khabib and McGregor’s Jan. 29th hearing with Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) to receive their respective punishments for UFC 229’s post-fight brawl. Once that long-awaited disciplinary meeting is held fight fans should get an update on a potential rematch (or the lack thereof).

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania