Conor McGregor announced his retirement from the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) earlier in the year but continues to hint at a potential return in the future. Despite claiming that he is done with the sport, the Irishman has on more than one occasion spoken about challenging Khabib Nurmagomedov for a rematch.

The Irishman – popularly known as “The Notorious” – lost to Nurmagomedov in his last fight which was at UFC 229 in October 2018. A brawl erupted after the match between the two camps and both the mixed martial fighters were banned for a period of time.

The bans are now served and both are eligible for a fight but McGregor’s sudden retirement put plans of a rematch on hold while Tony Ferguson is now considered the No.1 contender for the UFC Lightweight title, which is currently held by Russia’s Nurmagomedov. A recent report even indicated that "The Notorious" is looking toward boxing as his future and even accepted a challenge from fellow Irish boxer Luke Keeler.

However, the Irish mixed martial artist has now revealed that he is keen on having a rematch with the Russian after admitting that he did not give his opponent enough respect the first time around. He is certain that he would not have got caught out had he been completely “switched on”.

Conor McGregor Conor McGregor of Ireland laughs after the first round against Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Oct. 6, 2018. Photo: Harry How/Getty Images

"He's a formidable opponent, wrestles bears since he was a kid. He's put a lot of time into his stand up work and he was a lot sharper than I anticipated he was going to be,” McGregor said in a recent post on Instagram, as quoted in The Sun. "I've got to respect that, you know, it was his big moment. It's easy to do this once. I didn't give him his respect, I marched forward, I didn't give a s---, I got caught with that overhand."

"If I switched on, I would not get caught with that overhand in any form of combat,” the Irishman, who is the only male fighter to hold two division titles simultaneously in the UFC, added. "I'm very confident, very eager, very in shape."