Conor McGregor targets Khabib Nurmagomedov, but open to other fights in UFC return

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Conor McGregor - UFC 229 NY Press Conference

(Video courtesy of ESPN MMA | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is the top target on Conor McGregor’s radar for a UFC return, which he hopes to make by year’s end, but he’s open to many other options, as well.

Saying that he was injured and half-committed going into their bout at UFC 229 last year, McGregor wants to dial back the bout with Nurmagomedov.


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Conor McGregor tired of being a ‘shell of myself’

Conor McGregor UFC 229 NYC Press Conference

Conor McGregor recently made an appearance on ESPN. It was obvious that direction he has headed, primarily outside of the cage, is not fulfilling to the once dual-division UFC champion.

It was clear that the Irish fighter was itching to get back into the Octagon. He even said that a fight by the end of the year was possible, but when he started to go down the laundry list of what he needed to do in order to return by the end of the year, it almost sounded like he was trying to convince himself that it was possible.

McGregor targeted his desire to rematch UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who submitted the Irishman in the fourth round at UFC 229 in October of last year, but rattled off a host of other names as potential opponents for his return, including Max Holloway, Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje and Frankie Edgar

“I’m not gonna wait around (for Nurmagomedov)… whoever,” McGregor stated, shifting his focus toward what he needs to do to remind people of the fighter he once was, calling his shots and hitting his targets.

“And in reality, it does not matter who. It’s just about me getting back in and being who I am, not a shell of myself, not half committed. I was almost, if I had to say what I was, I was too committed in the gym and not committed enough outside of it,” he said of his fight with Nurmagomedov. 

“And then when I left the gym, it was gone from my mind. I would go off into the jungle. And you cannot do that. You cannot be half in, especially in a game like this. And I paid the price for it.”


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Though he rattled off injuries and distractions, McGregor admitted to lacking the whole-hearted commitment he needed to defeat Nurmagomedov. 

The question is, will it be enough? Can Conor McGregor do away with the outside-the-cage distractions and regain his form as the world’s most famous fighter?

(Video courtesy of ESPN MMA | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

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