icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

'My fighting IQ tells me Conor is better standing than Gaethje': Khabib Nurmagomedov opens door to McGregor rematch (VIDEO)

'My fighting IQ tells me Conor is better standing than Gaethje': Khabib Nurmagomedov opens door to McGregor rematch (VIDEO)
UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has admitted, perhaps for the first time, that he is willing to accept a rematch with heated rival Conor McGregor after complimenting the Irish fighter's striking technique.

Nurmagomedov came out on top of their first meeting a little under two years ago, submitting McGregor in the fourth round of their UFC 252 main event in a fight which was bookended by furious outbursts from both fighters - one in a parking lot in Brooklyn, and the other outside the cage moments after McGregor's submission. 

READ MORE: 'Four of our team will be fighting': Khabib says UFC 254 comeback will be family affair

Both men have cultivated the rivalry ever since, with McGregor keen to secure a rematch with the Russian champion. Khabib, though, wasn't quite so forthcoming with the idea of a sequel, at one point telling McGregor that he must win 10 fights in a row to be considered for a rematch.

However, it seems that Khabib's demands have cooled and he admitted in a press conference in Moscow early Friday that he feels a second meeting with McGregor is likely - or maybe even inevitable.

"Before the fight with [Edson] Barbosa, they said that he was my most uncomfortable rival, then they said the same thing before the fight with Conor, then with [Dustin] Poirier," Nurmagomedov announced to the media.

"They didn't have time to say that about Iaquinta, because they gave me a fight in a few hours. I am sympathetic to this, but journalists need to say something, to warm up their interest in battle. 

"But I kind of agree that Gaethje is a very good fighter, if he was bad he would not have fought for the belt. Is he better standing than Conor? I think no. My fighting IQ tells me that Conor is better in standing than Gaethje."

The undefeated Khabib will make his latest defense of the UFC's 155-pound title in October against Gaethje. If he is successful, he says a second fight with McGregor is a distinct possibility – on one condition.

"Let him come back (and) defeat Dustin Poirier, then we will fight with him - no problem," he Nurmagomedov. 

Also on rt.com Gaethje names Khabib's 'biggest weakness' as he vows to create 'zone of death' in UFC title showdown

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.