Conor McGregor team-mate explains key change that will lead to victory in Khabib rematch

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Conor McGregor would win a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov, according to the Irishman’s team-mate and good friend Artem Lobov. The UFC‘s first simultaneous two-weight world champion came up short in his bid to put the first blemish on Nurmagomedov’s record and regain the lightweight title at UFC 229 in October 2018.

McGregor, who was fighting on the back of a near two-year lay-off, suffered a fourth-round submission loss to his successor at the summit of the lightweight division, who marred the biggest victory of his career by sparking a mass brawl moments after closing the show with a neck crank.

Revenge has been on McGregor’s mind ever since that fateful night at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, with the Dubliner adamant he’d settle the score with the Russian with a few minor tweaks to his training camp.

Lobov agrees wholeheartedly with that notion, citing the success McGregor had in his UFC 202 rematch with Nate Diaz in August 2016 after losing their first meeting at UFC 196 as evidence to support his belief.

“I think if you look at when Conor lost to Diaz he made the necessary changes and dominated that fight with three knockdowns,” Lobov said in an interview with BJ Penn.com.

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A rematch between McGregor and Nurmagomedov is high on the wish-list of UFC president Dana White.

The same can’t be said for Team Nurmagomedov, though, who believe the Dubliner has yet to earn the right to fight for the title again.

In a recent interview with ESPN, Nuragomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz said: “The only way Conor McGregor can fight for a title is if he beats someone like Justin Gaethje. If he were to do that, it would be hard to deny him.

“The reason why I don’t think he’s fought Justin Gaethje is I think out of everybody in the UFC, Justin Gaethje takes people to a different place.

“Many people break. And we’ve seen Conor McGregor break before. Justin Gaethje is a nightmare matchup for him.”

McGregor, 31, made his long-awaited return to the Octagon in January in the main event of UFC 246 in Las Vegas, where he locked horns with fellow fan favourite Donald Cerrone.

Ireland’s first UFC champion demolished ‘Cowboy’ in 40 seconds to pick up his first victory in over three years and become the first fighter in the promotion’s history to score stoppage victories in the featherweight, lightweight and welterweight division.

McGregor is hoping to return to his active ways this year, setting his sights on two more outings in 2020.

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