UFC 229 is a mere six weeks away, yet up until a few days ago headliners Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov had remained largely silent in regards to one another. Perhaps the UFC has asked them to save it for the press conference, scheduled to go down sometime in early September. Or maybe with some number around hundred million in the bank, McGregor no longer feels the need to caper for pay-per-view sales.
Whatever the case, we did finally see some shots fired a few days ago via Instagram, where McGregor has decided to attack not Khabib, but those around him. He kicked things off by messaging his opponent’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, calling him or his son or both quivering cowards. Now he’s followed that up with a message to Team Khabib member Zubaira Tukhugov, who is set to face Conor’s buddy Artem Lobov on October 27th in Moncton, New Brunswick.
That’s a problem, as far as Conor McGregor is concerned.
A true Chechen would never assist in a Dagestani led attack on another Chechen,” McGregor wrote. “A true Chechen would never take orders from a Dagestani man. This is treason. There is no worse than treason.”
McGregor has never had much issue bringing up the troubled past of different areas - remember the time he said he’d invade Jose Aldo’s favela on horseback and would kill anyone who wasn’t fit to work? In this case he’s using the troubled history between Dagestan (where Khabib is from) and Chechnya (where Zubaira is from) for fodder, which is recent enough to be kinda messed up. It wasn’t Bosnia-Serbia bad, but someone from Ireland should understand that trying to stir up stuff like that isn’t cool.
Not like McGregor cares — that’s the boundary pushing trash talk that he’s embraced, and it’s served him well in the past. Yesterday was bringing fathers into it, today is stoking ethnic tensions. What delights will tomorrow bring?