The rivalry between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor hit an all-time high earlier this week when the two fighters bashed one another in a nasty Twitter war.
Insults of the biggest kind, which included McGregor calling Khabib’s wife a “towel” and Khabib calling McGregor a “rapist,” were passed around like hot potatoes and eventually caught the attention of UFC president Dana White, who revealed UFC reached out to both camps in effort to stop the “unacceptable” behavior.
While cooler heads have prevailed over the past 48 hours, Khabib and McGregor will remain the biggest of enemies moving forward. During a recent Q&A session with students at Moscow’s Plekhanov Russian University of Economics (shown below), Khabib discussed his Twitter war with “Notorious” and why he thinks McGregor says the things he says.
“He wants to always be in the headlines,” said Khabib (translation, transcript via RT Sport). “If you’ve noticed, after each UFC event, [he] makes comments. He praises those who win, or insults the others. This is his way of self-promotion, that’s how he makes headlines all the time. He knows what he’s doing.
“And I have no problem with that, he can say whatever he wants. But inside the cage he didn’t say anything. When I was hitting him in the face with my elbows and knees, he did not say anything. When I said ‘Let’s talk,’ he didn’t respond. And now, when he is thousands of kilometers away, he is saying things.
“That just shows what kind of lowlife he really is. When he was on the floor he didn’t speak to me, and that is what really matters.”
Remember, McGregor had some choice words for Khabib and his father leading into their clash at UFC 229 this past October. Unfortunately for “Notorious,” his pre-fight antics did not do the trick as “Eagle” soared to a decisive fourth-round submission win in the highest-grossing fight in UFC history. The aftermath of the fight ended up spilling into the crowd and landed Khabib a nine-month suspension and McGregor a six-month suspension.
While McGregor recently retired from the sport of MMA as fight talks with UFC have stalled, there’s no chance the 30-year-old Irishman would pass up the opportunity to rematch Khabib, whether for the UFC lightweight championship or not. But considering the lightweight division is flooded with deserving contenders, including Dustin Poirier, who will fight featherweight champion Max Holloway at UFC 236 next weekend for the interim 155-pound title, McGregor may have to wait a while to get his hands on Khabib.
Until that time comes, fight fans will have to sit back and enjoy the back-and-forth shared between the two international stars. This week may have produced the most disturbing trash talk yet, but there’s surely more to come.