For a guy who retired 14 times over the last five years, you would think former UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor would be more understanding of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s decision to vacate the title and call it a career.
“Notorious,” who was submitted by “The Eagle” in their UFC 229 title fight, remains the frontrunner to rematch the Dagestani should promotion president Dana White somehow convince Nurmagomedov to stick around for one more fight.
“How you could walk away at this stage is baffling to me but to each to their own,” McGregor told the The Mac Life. “There’s so many amazing fights out there. You can’t just scurry away from bouts. It’s been the hallmark of his approach. I was not surprised to see him walk away or scurry away, I should say. It is what it is. We carry on.”
McGregor won’t have to worry about championship titles unless he can first get past former interim champion Dustin Poirier in the upcoming UFC 257 pay-per-view (PPV) main event on Jan. 23 on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, a rematch of their UFC 178 showdown that ended in favor of “Notorious.”
“The belt, I think maybe the next bout, is fair,” McGregor continued. “I would have liked to see this fight but there were circumstances surrounding the man scurrying away to an extent. They’ve given him a bit of time. We’ll see what happens. It’s of no odds to me. I’m not going to get caught up in the politics of this business. I have in the past and it’s hampered me. So we focus on the bout ahead and that’s it.”
A victory for McGregor would likely put him into a title fight against one of the top contenders at 155 pounds. Justin Gaethje and Charles Oliveira remain viable options, as does the winner of Dan Hooker vs. Michael Chandler, who also compete at UFC 257.
The next few weeks are going to be very, very interesting.