Conor McGregor has reignited his feud with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, mocking the Russian over his recent assertion that he’d annihilate Tony Ferguson in a street fight. Nurmagomedov made the claim during a heated press conference for his long-awaited showdown with the former interim lightweight champion, which will headline UFC 249 on April 18.
A fired-up Nurmagomedov asked Ferguson: “Who are you? You’ve fought a few American guys. You’ve never fought in the streets. I’m from (Russia). I can eat you. What are you talking about?”
Nurmagomedov’s retort to Ferguson soon came to the attention of McGregor, who all but accused his successor at the summit of the lightweight division of lying about his history of fighting in the streets.
The Irishman did so by tweeting a picture of Nurmagomedov inside the bus he attacked during the infamous UFC 223 media day in April 2018.
The picture, which showed Nurmagomedov looking somewhat startled, was accompanied by the caption: “Street fight.”
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If Khabib wins on April 18, Conor McGregor is not getting a title shot
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz
McGregor didn’t stop there, though, posting a picture of Nurmagomedov in the post-fight melee that marred their UFC 229 grudge match with the same caption.
The UFC brass are keen on booking a rematch between the pair, provided Nurmagomedov gets through the sizeable test that is Ferguson.
Team Nurmagomedov, however, don’t believe the former two-division champion deserves a title shot, with the Dagestan native’s manager demanding he beat Justin Gaethje before being considered for a title shot.
“If Khabib wins on April 18, Conor McGregor is not getting a title shot – simple,” Abdelaziz told ESPN. “Dana White is the best promoter of all time because he understands fighting and matchmaking.
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“The only way Conor McGregor can fight for a title is if he beats someone like Justin Gaethje. If he were to do that, it would be hard to deny him.
“The reason why I don’t think he’s fought Justin Gaethje is I think out of everybody in the UFC, Justin Gaethje takes people to a different place.
“Many people break. And we’ve seen Conor McGregor break before. Justin Gaethje is a nightmare matchup for him.”
McGregor, 31, made his long-awaited return to the Octagon in January in the main event of UFC 246, where he was welcomed back to action by Donald Cerrone.
‘The Notorious’ decimated Cerrone in 40 seconds to pick up his first victory in over three years and become the first fighter in UFC history to record stoppage victories in the featherweight, lightweight and welterweight divisions.
McGregor is hoping to return to his active ways in 2020, setting his sights on two more outings this year.
A summer showdown with Gaethje has been rumoured to be in the works, though that notion was recently dismissed by UFC president Dana White.
“No, not yet,” said the UFC chief when asked if he’s got any fights lined up for McGregor. He doesn’t know what he wants to do. I think he’s going to [wait for Khabib]. The fight’s coming up with Khabib. We’ll see how this thing plays out and go from there. But nothing yet from him.”
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