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Khabib Nurmagomedov reveals stipulation for Conor McGregor rematch: Beat Poirier and we will fight

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Reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is preparing for a title unification bout against interim king Justin Gaethje this October at UFC 254, but that hasn’t stopped “Eagle” from talking about rival Conor McGregor.

The history between Nurmagomedov and McGregor is well documented. Not only did Khabib dominate “Notorious” when the two met for the 155-pound title back at UFC 229 but the two fighters have continued to trade jabs ever since. Needless to say, the bad blood between the Russian and the Irishman is as real as it gets.

In the past, Khabib has excluded McGregor from his list of potential title challengers due to the fact that he handily won their first encounter and “Notorious” has been one of the most inactive fighters on the roster over the past few years. Nurmagomedov has been unwilling to entertain a potential rematch between the two unless UFC was going to kick him $100 million.

Now, Khabib seems to be changing his tune just a bit. During a recent press conference in Russia, Nurmagomedov discussed McGregor’s abilities inside of the cage and what he would have to do to lock down a rematch with the champ.

First, Khabib compared Gaethje’s striking with that of McGregor’s and gave his honest assessment between the two lightweight finishers.

“Gaethje is a very good fighter. Is he better standing than Conor? I think no,” explained Nurmagomedov (via UFC on BT Sport). “My fighting IQ tells me that Conor is better in standing than Gaethje.”

Despite his praise, “Eagle” confirmed that McGregor will have to earn his stripes inside of the Octagon one more time before locking down the long-awaited rematch.

“Let him come back (and) defeat Dustin Poirier, then we will fight with him – no problem,” said Khabib.

McGregor, who announced his retirement from MMA for a third time earlier this year, was last seen taking out Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds at UFC 246 this past January. It was the first time “Notorious” stepped inside of the Octagon since getting choked out by Khabib all the way back in 2018. From the outside looking in, McGregor hasn’t been active enough to land a rematch with Nurmagomedov when he decides to return from his most recent retirement.

That said, the first meeting between Khabib and McGregor produced a record-setting 2.4 million PPV buys. UFC would be stupid not to push for this matchup if both fighters were remotely interested, whether or not “Notorious” takes out Poirier first.