With the next couple of UFC events focusing on the lightweight division, UFC President Dana White has expressed desire for a rematch between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor. Although many want to see it again, there is clear hesitation.
After their first bout at UFC 229, in which Nurmagomedov forced McGregor to submit via neck crank in the fourth round, a riot broke out. As a result, Nurmagomedov was suspended nine months and fined $500,000.
Since then, Nurmagomedov defeated interim Champion Dustin Poirier. As for McGregor, legal problems kept him away from the octagon this past year. The year of 2020 is primed to be a big one for both fighters, as Nurmagomedov will defend his title against Tony Ferguson in their long-awaited bout on April 18 in Brooklyn, New York. On the other hand, McGregor is moving up to the Welterweight division in order to fight Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 on January 18th in Las Vegas.
With a busy first half of the upcoming year, a rematch appears unnecessary. As much as McGregor loves to use press conferences in order to elevate the stakes for a fight, UFC 229 damaged the sport of MMA and should not be relived for another paycheck.
McGregor had signed an eight-fight contract during the buildup to his fight, and with seven fights to go, there are plenty of other options for him. After Cerrone, other paths include bouts against Justin Gaethje, Tony Ferguson, and even Jorge Masvidal. McGregor, 31, should be focused on a new chapter and not an old one.
Nurmagomedov previously stated he has no desire to fight McGregor for a second time. The Russian has instead expressed his desire to fight against Georges St-Pierre; who is technically retired at the moment. This becomes a lot more realistic of a bout, as both Nurmagomedov and St-Pierre are considered some of the best at their respective division.
Both Nurmagomedov and McGregor have bright futures, but it should not include each other. With upcoming stars on the rise, the UFC needs to move on.
Photo Credit: MMA Mania