Conor McGregor vs Khabib: Will McGregor retire after humbling defeat at UFC 229?

The defeat - and the one-sided nature of it - has seen many onlookers call on the Irishman to walk away from the sport

Ben Burrows,David Charlesworth
Tuesday 09 October 2018 14:15
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Khabib jumps out the Octagon after beating Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor is pondering his next move after his humbling defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229.

The Russian, who moved to an unblemished 27-0 with the win at the T-Mobile Arena, forced the Irishman to submit with a rear-naked choke midway through the fourth round in Las Vegas. Khabib then proceeded to vault the cage and attack a member of McGregor's entourage on the outside sparking a melee in the arena. Meanwhile, McGregor was attacked inside the octagon by two members of Nurmagomedov's team.

Khabib's post-fight actions are sure to land him in hot water and while McGregor dropped charges against those involved the Nevada State Athletic Commission could still come down hard on him. He is yet receive any of his fight purse and could be stripped of the title while UFC president Dana White has hinted at "four to six month suspension" from the sport.

For McGregor, the defeat and the one-sided nature of it has seen many onlookers call on him to walk away from the sport, even if the man himself has already talked up a rematch with the UFC lightweight champion.

So what next? Let's take a look.

Is McGregor going to retire?

The Irishman has already talked up a rematch and McGregor doesn't seem ready to walk away just yet but it at least should be one of the options on the table. He is financially set for life after backing up his nine-figure payday with another lucrative pay cheque to take on Nurmagomedov.

Why should he risk his long-term health in a sport that can cause irreversible damage?

One reason - and he kept alluding to it all last week - he loves the fight game, meaning it is highly unlikely that we have seen McGregor in some form of combat sport.

What's he said?

Well, he's keen to carry on it seems and wants another crack at Khabib.

“Good knock. Looking forward to the rematch," he tweeted in the immediate aftermath on Sunday morning before claiming to have "won the battle" on Monday.

McGregor is already once again in bullish mood 

Will he rematch Khabib Nurmagomedov then?

A post-fight melee instigated by Nurmagomedov may preclude an immediate rematch if the Nevada State Athletic Commission decides to come down hard on the lightweight champion.

Any return bout would likely be a lucrative affair for all concerned but the toxic nature of this weekend's contest, and the events leading up to it, may halt the UFC in its tracks.

The comprehensive nature of the unbeaten Russian's win should be taken into account, too - does McGregor deserve another shot at the champion?

Khabib outclassed McGregor

What about a tear up with Tony Ferguson?

If McGregor were to keep fighting in the UFC then this could be the most logical contest to make.

The pair have a mutual dislike of each other although not nearly as intense as the enmity shared between McGregor and Nurmagomedov. Ferguson has been itching for a fight with McGregor - or 'McNuggets' as he has taken to calling the Dubliner - and is ranked number two in the lightweight rankings, so he would be no easy night's work.

However, McGregor would earn the right to another shot at Nurmagomedov if he were to take on and defeat Ferguson.

UFC- Khabib Nurmagomedov apologies for post-fight melee after defeating Conor McGregor

If not him then what about Anderson Silva?

File this under: highly unlikely.

Ahead of his bout against Nurmagomedov, McGregor was asked about potential future foes and the one surprise name on the list is arguably the greatest UFC fighter of all-time.

The Brazilian ruled the middleweight division from 2006 to 2013 and at one point was on a 16-fight winning streak. However, the 43-year-old's best days are well and truly behind him, with four losses in his last six bouts.

The discrepancy in weight between the pair should kibosh any plans to match the fighters.

A rematch with Floyd Mayweather?

Surely not, but stranger things have happened.

Mayweather took McGregor apart the last time they faced off 

McGregor was said to have earned $100 million when he crossed over to boxing last year to take on Floyd Mayweather. He was stopped in the 10th round but fared better than many anticipated.

Mayweather took his record to 50-0 in that fight and insists he is retired, although the lure of another big pay day must be a tempting prospect for the man nicknamed 'Money'.

Mayweather earlier this year teased a foray into mixed martial arts but he was most recently in the headlines for suggesting he is close to a rematch with Manny Pacquiao.

What do the bookies think he's going to do?

Khabib Nurmagomedov​ 5/4

Nate Diaz 15/8

McGregor remains one of the most recognisable faces in the fight game

Tony Ferguson 5/2

Anderson Silva 11/1

Georges St-Pierre 11/1

Tyron Woodley 16/1

Floyd Mayweather​ 28/1

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