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fighting talk Conor McGregor insists 'war is not over' with Khabib Nurmagomedov despite champ's retirement

Conor McGregor hasn't given up on hopes of a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov.

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Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor hasn't given up on hopes of a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov, despite the Russian fighter's recent retirement, but says that he won't be chasing it.

McGregor faces Dustin Poirier in a lightweight bout in the main event of UFC 257 on Sunday morning local time and, even if there is no title on the line, the outcome will have a major bearing on who will become the next champion if Khabib, the incumbent, remains retired.

Unbeaten in 29 professional fights Nurmagomedov, who quit the sport in October after submitting Justin Gaethje, has been in Abu Dhabi this week coaching to coach his cousin Umar to victory.

UFC president Dana White said that Khabib might return if he saw something that excited him in the main or co-main events on Saturday, both of which feature top-ranked lightweights.

However Nurmagomedov, whose father passed away due to complications caused by Covid-19 last year, poured cold water on the idea of a comeback in an interview with a Russian media outlet, repeating that he had promised his mother that he was done with the sport, and McGregor has little interest in pursuing him.

“It’s a tough business, he has things going on in his personal life. I don’t wish him any harm," ," McGregor said..

"It was in 2018, a lot of time has passed. “What I will say, as long as we fight again there will be no issue, that’s it. If he continues to run then I’m not sure, we’ll see what happens.

"The world knows this fight is not over, the war is not over. The sport needs it to happen, the people need it to happen. I’m not going to chase it if he doesn’t want it.. I’ll keep my calm and move on.

"That’s what I’m doing, I’m back here at the 155lb division, I'll show the world what’s what over time and that's it. It begins on Saturday night against Dustin Poirier."

Since losing the belt to Nurmagomedov in an ill-tempered fight in September 2018, McGregor has spent all of 40 seconds fighting in the octagon, scoring a swift TKO victory over Donald Cerrone a year ago.

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The fight will take place at the 18,000-capacity Etihad Arena, but only 2000 fans will be in attendance, and they will need to show proof of a negative PCR test to gain admittance to the venue.

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