Who can forget the iconic call-out from Khabib Nurmagomedov after the Michael Johnson fight where he called out Conor McGregor. Many believe this is where the grueling rivalry between Nurmagomedov and McGregor first started. Now the former UFC lightweight champion has revealed what prompted him to call out the Notorious, giving rise to one of the greatest MMA rivalries of all time.
Nurmagomedov reveals that he was scheduled to take on Eddie Alvarez for the UFC’s lightweight championship in Canada. However, Nurmagomedov woke up to the news that it would be Conor McGregor who will be taking on Eddie Alvarez for the UFC’s lightweight belt.
“I sign contract, then I see in media, Conor is gonna fight Alvarez and I was like ‘Hey, I supposed to fight with him, I sign contract.'”
“They play game, and I sent Dana message, ‘Hey, I understand everything. Okay. If you guys give him this fight, I understand this guy is a big name.’ That time I don’t have big name. You just use my name to force them sign contract, ‘I understand everything. Okay just give me someone. I want to fight same night. Give me someone.”
While the Artem Lobov incident definitely started the entire beef between both the lightweight contenders, it was Khabib being denied of a title shot over Conor McGregor, who was just coming off a big win over Nate Diaz to take on Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title that prompted Nurmagomedov to call out McGregor in the way he did after the Michael Johnson fight.
The rivalry between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov
Conor McGregor took on Khabib Nurmagomedov in his first title defense at UFC 229 in what continues to be the biggest fight in the history of mixed martial arts. In his first title defense, Nurmagomedov took on McGregor in what was one of the most talked-about bout in the history of the sport. Nurmagomedov submitted McGregor in the fourth round to defend his lightweight title in an emphatic fashion and in the process sent a statement to the UFC’s lightweight division.
The rivalry continues despite years into the fight, as both the fighters continue to have back and forth on social media even till today.