MOSCOW (Reuters) – UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov said he could imagine a reconciliation with Conor McGregor after a bitter feud over the title fight last month.
The two fighters exchanged verbal strokes before the October 6 headliner at UFC 229, and Nurmagomedov sparked a fight with McGregor's team after winning by finals.
During a press conference in Moscow on Monday to announce a sponsorship with Gorilla Energy Drinks, Nurmagomedov said that "anything is possible. Just as McGregor and I vied, we could reconcile.
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Nurmagomedov added that he does not know how he would react when he saw the Irish fighter then saying, "Who are we not to forgive each other when the Almighty forgives us?"
Nurmagomedov says he prefers a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. – without giving details of how this can be arranged – about Tony Ferguson's preferred UFC option.
"By legacy and in the monetary sense, and in a sporting sense, I think the Mayweather fight is much more interesting," said Nurmagomedov, adding that any negotiation should await his scheduled hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. December 10 over the aftermath of the McGregor fight. "The athletic committee must finish first and then we'll talk."
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A devout Muslim, Nurmagomedov has become increasingly an influential conservative voice in Russia, criticizing aspects of nightlife in his hometown of Dagestan. Numerous Russian athletes have moved into politics after retiring, including heavyweight boxer Nikolai Valuev, now a member of parliament, but Nurmagomedov said he has no plans to join them.
"I try to stay away from all of this," he said. "The main thing is to have the desire to help people and you do not have to be a member of parliament to do that."
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