Conor McGregor said he believes Khabib Nurmagomedov retired because he's afraid to fight him in a rematch of their UFC 229 fight.  Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Conor McGregor trying to lure Khabib Nurmagomedov out of retirement

While Dana White tries to secure Khabib Nurmagomedov's UFC comeback, his longtime rival Conor McGregor is calling him out. 

In an interview with ESPN's Ariel Helwani, McGregor said he believes Nurmagomedov retired because he's afraid to fight him in a rematch of their UFC 229 fight. 

"I think he's afraid to fight me, that's for damn sure. You know, and I don't blame him," McGregor said. "I fought the best of him on that night; he fought the worst of me on that night. He knows it. I know it. His team knows it. I have the answer to destroy that man."

Nurmagomedov submitted McGregor in the fourth round of their UFC 229 matchup, which ended in chaos as both fighters and their trainers got into a brawl. Nurmagomedov and McGregor were handed suspensions for the incident. 

Nurmagomedov retired after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, saying he couldn't continue to fight following his father's death in July. However, White believes Nurmagomedov will eventually return to the ring. The two sides discussed a potential return last week and are set to meet again next week. 

It's unclear if Nurmagomedov truly would agree to return, although if McGregor keeps prodding, it's bound to happen. 

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bridgewater State University and currently is in pursuit of her Master's Degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90.

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