CONOR MCGREGOR has hinted Khabib Nurmagomedov retired to avoid certain defeat in a UFC rematch between the pair.
The undefeated lightweight champion retired last week after beating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.
McGregor took time to praise his bitter rival last night during a Twitter Q&A.
The Irishman tapped out in the fourth two years ago when battling Nurmagomedov on an explosive night in Las Vegas.
The two have continued to take swipes at each other in interviews and on social media since.
But when asked for his honest opinion on the Dagestani star, Notorious said: “A phenomenal grappler fighter.
“The current best in the sport with it. I’ve the answer however and they know it.”
Nurmagomedov went on to beat Dustin Poirier and Gaethje after his victory over McGregor before announcing his retirement last weekend.
He hung up his gloves after extending his record to 29-0 as he vowed to keep a promise to his mother that it would be his last fight.
He said: “He was super emotional after that fight and you know he got the measles, the mumps, whatever he got.
“Then he broke his toe leading into that fight, took the fight, and with the passing of his father I just think he was super emotional and was just in the moment that night.
“I am not saying that he is going to 100 per cent come out for 30-0, but I get the feeling that he will.”