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7 Oct, 2019 16:07

'Stop hitting old people and get in line': Khabib tells Conor McGregor what he needs to do to earn rematch (VIDEO)

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has laid out his plan for his next fight and says it won't involve Conor McGregor, who needs to earn his way back to a second fight with the Russian superstar.

Speaking at the Synergy Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia, the undefeated Russian star said he wants to return to the city next spring for his next fight, which he wants to take place at the city's 80,000-capacity Gazprom Arena, home to Zenit St. Petersburg.

"It will be in March or April," he explained.

"I said it clearly – I want to fight in a large arena and the only large indoor arena in Russia is Gazprom Arena (in St. Petersburg), so I want to fight there."

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Nurmagomedov was equally adamant when he came to his feelings regarding McGregor. The Irishman is pushing hard for a rematch with Khabib, but the reigning champion said the former two-division champ will have to earn his way back to a title shot, and would also have to earn his respect after the ill-tempered build-up – and aftermath – to their first fight.

"I'm not ready to shake his hand right now," he said.

"Everyone makes mistakes. There are no perfect people, everyone has flaws. I have flaws and so does he.

"When a person continues to behave this way, it means that it's his nature. We saw that he recently hit a 70-year-old man. It shows a lack of morality and manners. So I'm not ready to shake his hand until he realizes something."

But Khabib did concede that he would accept an apology from McGregor, providing it was an honest and sincere one.

"Apologies always have to be accepted, no matter what he said. If a person apologizes and accepts his mistakes, we have to excuse him."

And with regard to their rivalry inside the cage, Khabib said he has his sights set on a more deserving contender.

"From a fighter's point of view, [the McGregor rivalry] is a thing of the past," he said.

"I have nothing to prove. But he has something to prove. We know he does. There's a lot of businessmen here and I think most of them will tell me to fight him because it'll bring money. I'd fight all the main contenders first, and I could fight him to benefit my agricultural projects.

"I have to say that Tony Ferguson deserves it more. You have to give him credit. He is on a 12-fight win streak and he deserves it more than Conor. Conor has to come back (and) stop hitting old people. He is a professional fighter. He should come back, win, earn his place and get in line."

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