Khabib Nurmagomedov didn't mince words when assessing what would happen if Conor McGregor fought Dustin Poirier again following the latter's victory at Saturday's UFC 264.
"What is gonna happen?" he said during a discussion with Brett Okamoto of ESPN. "I don't think something's gonna happen. The judges gave Dustin Poirier a 10-8. He mauled [McGregor] in [the first] round. If they fight 100 times, Dustin is gonna beat him 100 times."
Brett Okamoto @bokamotoESPN
A few clips from today’s interview with Khabib Nurmagomedov (<a href="https://twitter.com/TeamKhabib?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamKhabib</a>). We covered a lot of ground, some of which, of course, included Conor McGregor’s last week/weekend. <a href="https://t.co/8LtJKHV95Q">pic.twitter.com/8LtJKHV95Q</a>
ESPN MMA @espnmma
Khabib doesn't believe the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFC264?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFC264</a> main event would have gone any differently in Round 2.<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/bokamotoESPN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@bokamotoESPN</a>) <a href="https://t.co/fhCwWuN5k6">pic.twitter.com/fhCwWuN5k6</a>
While Saturday's fight ended prematurely when McGregor suffered an injury, it was clear Poirier was the better fighter in the only round.
He controlled the early stages of the fight, as Nurmagomedov alluded to, and likely would have notched his second successive win over McGregor even without the injury. While McGregor defeated Poirier in 2014, the American has now secured back-to-back wins in the rivalry.
Khabib was among those who weighed in, congratulating Poirier for the victory and saying "Good always defeats evil" in a tweet:
"It's not over," McGregor said after the fight. "If we have to take this outside, we'll do it."
Despite those comments, it was clear Poirier is the bigger title threat at this point of their respective careers. Nurmagomedov said McGregor is "finished" as a top-notch competitor following the loss and injury.
"Without broken legs, yes, [he could be the same]," Nurmagomedov said. "But with broken legs, he's never going to kick the same. With him, no, I don't believe [he'll return to the top]. Conor have good age , but what happened with his mind, legs—this guy is finished, but he's good for promotion."
Nurmagomedov is no stranger to what each fighter brings to the table.
He beat McGregor by fourth-round submission at UFC 229 in 2018 after a dramatic lead-up to the highly anticipated fight and then defeated Poirier by third-round submission at UFC 242 in 2019.
He believes Poirier would have no trouble in any rematch after Saturday's result.