The names of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor will be linked to each other for eternity. Their rivalry goes deep within the history of mixed martial arts. After all, no rivalry in the sport’s short history has caused as much controversy. Nor has any beef transcended the sport and seeped into close friends, nationalities, and even religion. With suspensions and police involvement, the issues with the men didn’t end after they fought inside the UFC cage. However, as a champion and winner of their fight, Khabib doesn’t want to continue to speak about McGregor, and he made that clear to Stephen A Smith on ESPN.
Stephen A is what fans of the sport would call, “a casual.” Every so often, Smith will report on a high profile fight with broadcast coverage. Naturally, a media conglomerate as large as ESPN would turn the focus of any conversation towards the topic of McGregor. Especially given the history between the lightweights.
Khabib Refuses to Speak about McGregor on ESPN
Khabib appeared on ESPN with Smith. During an interview exchange, Stephen A seemingly tried to sneak his way towards turning the promotion of Khabib vs Justin Gaethje, into a conversation about McGregor. However, Nurmagomedov wasn’t having it.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 20, 2020
“A lot of times, particularly in the fight game, you talk about giving the people what they want to see,” Smith said
“One of the things I said last week talking about you, sir, was that you really don’t want to fight somebody like Conor McGregor again, primarily because you don’t like him and you think fighting him again gives him the attention that you don’t believe he deserves. How accurate is that?”
Khabib responded shortly and quickly. Looking in the middle of the camera, Khabib made it clear that he isn’t going to be highlighting McGregor.
“Right now, I don’t even want to talk about this sh**,” answered Khabib.
Showing Extreme Focus
Oddly enough, Smith nodded, smirked, and the conversation moved in a new direction.
Clearly, “The Eagle” is 100% focused on his matchup against Gaethje. Subsequently, Khabib won’t let Conor McGregor ruin that focus, even on ESPN.