Khabib Nurmagomedov isn’t interested in fighting Conor McGregor any time soon, saying the Irish fighter begged him not to kill him the last time they met.
The undefeated lightweight champion (27-0 MMA, 11-0 UFC) was asked about McGregor at a news conference in London for UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi, where he’ll fight interim champion Dustin Poirier (25-5 MMA, 17-4 UFC).
Khabib: McGregor begged not to kill him
When reporters mentioned McGregor, Nurmagomedov asked rhetorically why he deserved a rematch given his lack of a victories in three years and what transpired in their first meeting.
"He tapped. He begged me: 'Please don't kill me,' you know? Now he's talking about rematch?"
Nurmagomedov won via submission in the fourth round with a rear naked choke during UFC 229 in October. The fight was marred by a post-event melee that escalated an ongoing battle between the two fighters.
Khabib wants higher competition
Nurmagomedov thinks there are others who are more worthy of a fight and going for the title, noting by name Tony Ferguson to reporters.
"Tony Ferguson on the line. People who have win streak on the line. Not a guy who don't win nothing last three years, you know?
“I have a lot of works without him. Right now I focus on Sept. 7.”
Ferguson (25-3) is on a 12-fight winning streak, including a recent win over Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone last weekend. He also mentioned Georges St-Pierre and, of course, getting past Poirier. Poirier won the interim title in April against Max Holloway.
Khabib-McGregor beef turned ugly on Twitter
Their one and only fight against each other was put into place after McGregor attacked a bus at UFC media day in April 2018 after UFC president Dana White announced McGregor would no longer be the lightweight champion.
Instead, Nurmagomedov took the belt in a fight against Holloway after McGregor failed to defend the title he won in October 2016.
The disdain between the fighters erupted on social media in April in an ugly back-and-forth on Twitter. McGregor taunted Nurmagomedov about his religion using a photo of the champion and his wife. Nurmagomedov jabbed back by referencing an open investigation into McGregor and called him a rapist.
White released a statement, an uncommon occurrence for the situation, and called it “unacceptable.”
White: McGregor’s future hinges on UFC 242
White said last week McGregor’s future will depend on the fights between Nurmagomedov and Poirier, as well as Ferguson’s win over Cerrone. After the Sept. 7 fight, White said “we’ll figure out what’s next for Conor.”
McGregor wants the rematch and White did not rule it out. He has not fought since the loss against Nurmagomedov.
More from Yahoo Sports: