UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov says Conor McGregor “doesnt deserve” a rematch and “begged me not to kill him,” as the Russian faced off against Dustin Poirier ahead of their bout at UFC 242 in September.
A potential re-run of Nurmagomedovs fight against McGregor was just one of the topics that came up during the first press conference in London for the undefeated Russians fight against Poirier in Abu Dhabi on September 7.
Here, RT Sport brings you the best quotes from the event.
Poirier on fighting in Abu Dhabi, where Khabib will enjoy huge support
“The story of my life is fighting through stuff like that, to defy the odds and earn a victory in the midst of that type of stuff.”
Khabib on life after the McGregor fight
“Life has changed of course, I become a bit more famous, a lot things changed in my life. In my mind, nothings changed, I keep training, I keep going. This isnt my last fight.
“What happened on October 6 is just beginning of my legacy, Im very excited about my comeback.”
Khabib on fighting in Abu Dhabi
“I think its gonna be very big and a very good show for everyone fighting there.
“For me, my father can come and be in my corner for the first time in the UFC, he cant come to the US.
“Theyve already sold all tickets, its going to be a good show… Im very excited.”
Khabib on the terms for reducing his teammates' suspensions from UFC 229
“I told the UFC Im gonna fight with my friends, my brothers, if not were gonna wait until the disqualification is finished and all come back together.
“The UFC did a good job, thank you to them.”
Khabib on facing Georges St-Pierre and his legacy
“Honestly I dont know about if he will come back
“If I wanna make my legacy big, I have to beat [Tony] Ferguson and GSP.
“Then I can become pound for pound number one.”
Poirier on winning the interim title
“Ive felt a lot of appreciation from people reaching out… Im grateful I can inspire people.
“Im still Dustin, Ill go home, Im a dad, life is pretty much the same except Ive got a gold belt."
Poirier on facing Khabibs formidable wrestling
“[Ill] just be myself, show what Im capable of, 27 have tried [against Khabib], 27 have failed. I dont really need him to be weak for me to be strong, Im gonna create holes with my pressure, my experience. Its gonna be a hell of a fight."
Khabib on Poiriers danger
“He has good experience, more than 20 fights in UFC. This is experience. I respect him like a human, a fighter, he beat a lot of tough guys. The last fight [vs Holloway] he impressed me with his boxing.
“Hes become interim champ for a reason, he beat Holloway, a lot of former champions
“But when the cage closes, Im gonna keep going."
Poirier on potential advantage of fighting more recently
“Everybodys different. Its on him, I cant feel how hes feeling. Hes got a lot of experience, I dont think theres gonna be any ring rust [for Khabib].”
Khabib on testing himself against Poiriers striking
“I tested myself with one of the best strikers, [Edson] Barboza,[Michael] Johnson, Conor, all very good strikers, half of them already finished Dustin.
“I already tested myself against a lot of strikers.
“My box is not bad too, I have a lot of fights all my life, I dont remember someone who caught me.
“I respect his [Poiriers] game , his boxing, but September 7, I have to do my job like always.”
Poirier on why he can beat Khabib
“Experience, self-belief, my mindset, Im focused on making history. Thats what the next 11 weeks of my life will be.
“I dont need to find huge holes, the guys good, hes the world champ, but Im gonna makes things happen and bring him to places hes never been to.
“Ive learned I can count on myself. Adversity introduces a man to himself, Im well acquainted and Im ready to rock.”
Khabib on fighting in the UAE
“MMA and UFC is very popular in the Emirates. I cant even walk around the street [there]. I feel like Im in Dagestan, the same thing. Its very popular in the Emirates and all Arabic countries, the Middle East. Im not surprised the UFC made this event there.”
Khabib on acclimatizing in the UAE
“Maybe one month [before the fight], well see, we have to talk with father, about when were going to Read More – Source