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Here’s why Conor McGregor will shove a referee — but won’t dare lay a hand on Khabib Nurmagomedov

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Gdansk-Lobov vs Fili Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

So there’s that scene in Enter the Dragon where O’Hara, shortly before he got his skull stomped into the mud, punches a board then looks at Lee like he just split the atom and Lee was all like, “Boards ... don’t hit back.”

This is kind of the same thing, with referee Marc Goddard playing the role of splintered wood.

That’s according to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov, who wants to know why 155-pound champion Conor McGregor will shove a referee but then keep his hands to himself whenever “The Eagle” flies into view.

From his conversation with Talk and Talker (via MMA Fighting):

“We have to follow rules. So sometimes this happens but I don’t understand why he tried to fight with referee. I don’t understand it. He does this all the time. In Ultimate Fighter show, in Bellator show, I don’t understand why he can do but other guys cannot do. Because he’s Conor McGregor? He cannot do this. The UFC has to make him humble a little bit because other guys say, ‘Oh, Conor do this? He can do this but why I not?’ This is why sometimes you have to follow rules when you’re a big name, because a lot of people are watching you. Why he don’t slap me when we go very close like UFC 205? Because he understands I don’t stop. Maybe he slaps him because he understands he’s not fighter, he cannot give him back. I never slap somebody if this guy cannot fight with me. You cannot fight with me. I can kill you. I can punch you and I can take you down and smash your face. You have to stay relaxed. Sometimes you have to say this because you’re a professional athlete and you can kill people.”

Save the street fights for this guy.

McGregor was originally expected to appear in the UFC 219 headliner next month in Las Vegas, Nevada; however, his antics at Bellator 187 reportedly got him benched until first-quarter 2018, which means this objection will be overruled.

As for Nurmagomedov, he’s slated to throw hands with top division contender Edson Barboza at UFC 219, with the winner taking on ... well, it’s hard to say. Tony Ferguson holds the interim strap and remains hogtied until McGregor returns.

When and where that is remains to be seen.