Although the rematch was impossible to occur, any possibility of seeing Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor 2 crashed and burned when McGregor was finished by Dustin Poirier in the second round of the main event of UFC 257 on Jan. 24.
After compromising the Irishman’s mobility with leg kicks, Poirier became the first fighter to stop McGregor via strikes. It was something the coach of Nurmagomedov, Javier Mendez, had seen coming moments into the UFC bout.
With McGregor’s defeat to Poirier, Mendez assumes the door has permanently closed on a rematch with Nurmagomedov.
“You’re never gonna get that rematch. Just like you’re never going to get the Tony (Ferguson) and Khabib fight. That’s never gonna happen either. It’s not gonna happen. I mean, Khabib doesn’t need it. He seems fulfilled. And like I said, I think the only juicy part for him is what his father wanted, GSP. I’ve said it many times. And who knows, maybe that’s out of the question now. Maybe GSP doesn’t want it, maybe Khabib don’t want it now. I don’t know, cause I never talked to Khabib about what he wants, I’ve always listened to him,” said Mendez.
According to Mendez, the only fight that could have lured Nurmagomedov back into the Octagon was a fight against Georges St-Pierre. Even if Poirier had been beaten by McGregor, Mendez is not sure if it would have mattered.
“I didn’t even know if he [Conor] would’ve done great that Khabib would even fight him, cause he’s gotta ask his mother’s permission first. You guys gotta remember, the key thing is, he’s gotta ask his mother for permission too. And I didn’t see GSP being offered. And I thought the only way he was gonna come out of it was if GSP was in that picture. But based what it happened, I don’t see why he would want to come out and fight anybody. Why? Fighting the best is not gonna motivate him. He’s not looking at the money aspect of it. But if they can put GSP, if they can put GSP on the table, maybe there’s a chance there,” he said.
“And I’m not saying it will happen, because I don’t know, but I’m just saying GSP might be the only one. I’ve always thought it was GSP, because that’s what his father wanted, and I think if they can get that one worked out and he can get his mother’s permission, I think that one could work. But I don’t think anybody else is gonna work. Period”
“If he asked my opinion, I would say hold out for GSP, or retire. That’s what I would tell him. But he’s never asked me, so that conversation never took place,” Mendez said.