Khabib Nurmagomedov Explains What Separates Him From Conor McGregor
Khabib Nurmagomedov believes him being a man of his word is what separates him from Conor McGregor, and he's also explained how fame and fortune has changed his UFC rival for the worst.
Nurmagomedov talked the talk and walked the walk as he defended his UFC lightweight title against McGregor last October, while the Irish star talked a big game but failed to deliver.
And the Russian phenom believes that is the main difference between himself and McGregor.
"I have a big, big fire inside and I want to be the best fighter in the world, not the best fighter from my country, but the best of seven billion people," he said about his appetite for the sport ahead of his anticipated UFC return.
"Everywhere I go a lot of people come and take pictures and talk, it's a bit of pressure. Most of the time I don't like it, I don't train to be really famous, I train for fights with the best fighters in the world."
Nurmagomedov submitted McGregor at UFC 229 then chaos ensued when a brawl broke out, but the 27-0 fighter has no regrets over the incident.
"I wouldn't change anything. What I did I did for a reason, I feel great and it was a great experience for me," he added.
"I told people October 6 was the day I was waiting for, it's not my style to talk, of course I told people my plan; I was going to make him tired, change his face, smash his face... and I did everything that I said.
"But everything he said... he did nothing, that's the big difference between us.
"For me I don't like this guy because he punches old people. Sometimes when you are hungry you are different, when you have money you are different and you have to control your emotions.
"He is a big star, how can you punch old people when you are one of the best fighters in the world? The guy could have died, if he had gone down he could have died.
"This shows how he has changed with money, most crazy things are because of money or fame."
This weekend in Abu Dhabi, Nurmagomedov returns to the famed Octagon for the first time since his victory over McGregor in Las Vegas.
He faces Dustin Poirier in a lightweight unification showdown at UFC 242.