In a rare public comment on social media, McGregor (21-4) said he was beaten “fair and square” by Nurmagomedov on Oct. 6 at UFC 229, but he vowed to return stronger than ever. The Irishman has already called for a rematch against Nurmagomedov, but he said Monday that he would accept another opponent if need be.
“It was a great fight and it was my pleasure,” McGregor wrote on Instagram. “I will be back with my confidence high. Fully prepared. If it is not the rematch right away, no problem. I will face the next in line. It’s all me always, anyway. See you soon my fighting fans I love you all.”
In his social media post, McGregor said that a right hand Nurmagomedov was “blessed” with landing in the second round, which briefly dropped him, changed the course of the fight. He admitted to not respecting Nurmagomedov’s striking enough and not giving his own grappling enough credit.
A rematch would obviously mean big business for the UFC, but president Dana White has been noncommittal on the idea. He told ESPN last week that the UFC will do “what’s fair” and mentioned former interim champion Tony Ferguson as potentially the next No. 1 contender.
“… As a fight fan, you’ve got to go with Tony. Tony had the belt, tweaked his knee, got stripped, this fight happens — Tony never lost the [interim] belt in a fight. Neither did Conor, but Conor got the opportunity to actually fight [Nurmagomedov]. I think Tony deserves the next shot.”
As I said before, McGregor needs to get a few wins under his belt before he can command a ‘Payday’ fight. You can’t rest on your laurels when you keep losing.