KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV insists his better rival Conor McGregor will ‘never’ return to the peak of his powers.
The Notorious suffered a devastating second-round TKO loss to Dustin Poirier last month in the main event of UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi.
The manner of McGregor’s defeat to The Diamond – his third in his last six octagon outings – prompted suggestions his best days are behind him, a notion Nurmagomedov agrees with.
When asked if he believes the former two-division champion will come back stronger, Nurmagomedov told Magomed Ismailov: “Never.
“There is no way that a man can be at the peak for two times.”
The recently-retired Nurmagomedov, however, was quick to clarify his comments weren’t solely aimed at his old rival.
“A team could do it. For example: Real Madrid did this a few times in a row. Teams may have this.
“But we’re talking about us. And one man, on his own, cannot have this (peak form twice).”
A summer trilogy fight between the pair, both 32, is currently in the works, although McGregor is hoping to return to action in May.
UFC president Dana White revealed the third instalment of McGregor vs Poirier is in the pipeline last week, saying: “They both want it.
“So when you’ve got two guys that want the trilogy as bad as those two do, we’ll try make it happen.
White added: “This summer, it will happen. These guys are all going to fight it out, we’ll narrow it down to the two guys who will face off for the title.”
McGregor, the UFC’s first simultaneous two-weight world champion, is relishing his series decider with Poirier, writing on Instagram: “What a trilogy I now have on my hands. Exciting!
“With a handle on the leg kicks I will get back to having fun in there. I was in second gear cruising this fight. Best condition I’ve ever been in.
“After the wrestling and clinch exchanges, my shots still held their pop. First time for me with this so I am very encouraged to keep going.
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