There has never been any love lost between UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and former dual-division champion Conor McGregor. The friction between the two spilled over again on Saturday night following McGregor’s loss to Dustin Poirier in the UFC 257 main event in Abu Dhabi.
McGregor seemed to be doing well throughout the first round, but Poirier was sneakily landing calf kicks that eventually took their toll on McGregor’s lead leg.
In the second round, McGregor’s leg began to falter. Poirier took full advantage, using the kick to set up hard punches that rocked McGregor. The cumulative effect sent the Irish superstar to the canvas. Poirier followed and finished.
“This is what happened, when you change your team, leave the sparring partners who made you a champion and sparring with little kids, far away from reality,” Khabib tweeted immediately after the fight, seemingly taking a shot at McGregor.
“My team has been the team since day one. I have not changed any team. It is what it is. Respect the athletes and that’s the character of the man for sure, behind the mask,” McGregor said in response to Khabib’s comments.
“What’s he want to do? Does he want to come back or no? Because he’s not throwing no leg kicks.”
Even UFC president Dana White appears willing to accept that Khabib is not likely to return to the Octagon following Saturday night’s fights. But if he is, McGregor sounds amiable to fighting him again and try to avenge his prior loss.
“If he wants to have his disrespectful comments, come back and let’s go again, my man. I’m here for it. That’s fighting talk. If you’re coming back, come back. You try and do it.”
Conor McGregor discusses UFC 257 loss and Khabib Nurmagomedov
(Video courtesy of ESPN MMA)