“It Was Very Important to Catch This Guy”- Khabib Nurmagomedov on Why Destroying Conor McGregor Was So Important to Him

Published 09/06/2021, 8:45 AM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia reacts after his submission victory over Justin Gaethje in their lightweight title bout during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor fought three years ago at UFC 229. Yet, this infamous rivalry of theirs continues to go on, pointing to the intensity with which both fighters genuinely dislike each other. 

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Unsurprisingly, McGregor’s trash talk and antics are responsible for the animosity between the two fighters. Once they got in the cage, Nurmagomedov ensured he exacted his revenge on the Irishman.  

And after four rounds of domination, Khabib Nurmagomedov submitted McGregor with a vicious neck crank, which he didn’t let go of until the referee, Herb Dean, pulled his arms off a breathless McGregor. 

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Recently, Khabib Nurmagomedov took part in a Q and A session with Daniel Cormier’s wrestling academy students. During the interaction, a student was curious to know how Nurmagomedov felt going into the cage with Conor McGregor. 

“The Eagle” didn’t have to take too much time to think for this one, consequently making the following statement. 

Like, fight day, it was like, I’m like, was very happy, you know. Like, I was thinking like, ‘Okay, finally, I’m gonna grab this guy. I’m gonna catch this guy’. He knows like a very hungry, like eagle, you hold him, you hold him, you hold him, and you let him hunt, you know. And he fly and he watch, like, ‘Okay, where’s this mouse?’ You know, and he go catch him, you know; same thing. I was very happy because he talk a lot of trash. And for me, it was very important to catch this guy”   

It’s safe to say after this answer that the rivalry between these two elite fighters is far from over. Nurmagomedov referring to McGregor as a mouse, while the Irishman continues to troll him on the internet regularly.  

Is Khabib Nurmagomedov the greatest lightweight of all time?

Over the years, the UFC has had several lightweights that dominated their division for a considerable amount of time. BJ Penn and Eddie Alvarez are fighters that come to mind.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia celebrates his victory over Justin Gaethje in their lightweight title bout during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

However, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s unbeaten record of 29-0 certainly makes him the greatest lightweight of all time. And it isn’t only about the undefeated record, it’s also about the sheer domination displayed by Khabib in every fight of his.

At 32-years-old, Nurmagomedov retired from the sport of MMA as an undefeated champion, and aside from Conor McGregor, most other lightweights in the division have publically stated their respect for Khabib’s skills and achievements.

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What do you think? Is Khabib Nurmagomedov the greatest lightweight of all time? Let us know in the comments.

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David Andrew

147 articles

David Andrew is an MMA author at EssentiallySports with a background in English Literature from St. Stephens College. Prior to his current role, David, who combines his passion for writing and combat sports, contributed to the MMA divisions at Sportskeeda and The Sportsrush.

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