|Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
The line has been firmly crossed according to UFC head honcho Dana White.
The UFC have been forced to release an official statement regarding the ongoing Twitter spat between Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, and former champion Conor McGregor. Engaging in some rather personal attacks, both Khabib and McGregor have escalated their exchanges in recent days, subsequently drawing promotion president Dana White to comment on the nasty back and forth.
“I am aware of the recent social media exchange between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor. The ongoing situation has escalated to a level that is unacceptable. As such, we are taking the necessary steps to reach out to both athlete camps and this situation is being addressed by all parties internally.”
It’s somewhat of an unprecedented involvement from the organisation, with the feud between Russia’s Khabib and Ireland’s McGregor crossing the proverbial line on ethnic, religious and defamation of character basis’. The seemingly harmless exchange initially started with Nurmagomedov reflecting on his UFC 223 championship victory over Al Iaquinta; “Great feeling, after 5 championship rounds. See you soon my fans, very soon. And thank you all you guys, for support all these years.“
The former two division champion McGregor responded; “You got your money took and your brothers eye socket shook when you fought me you little rat. Viva Las Vegas baby the gaf always wins. Big stomper party in the Wynn coming soon! @ProperWhiskey @WynnLasVegas #ad” McGregor, referring to the post fight brawl at UFC 229 between himself and Khabib’s corner men and subsequent withholding of the fight purse by the NSAC.“
Just hours later, Khabib fired back at ‘The Notorious’ one; “@TheNotoriousMMA money comes and goes. the honor that you lost that evening will never return, live with it. Finish career in mma, but start career on twitter? #twitterWarrior”
McGregor, who announced his retirement from mixed-martial arts competition once again recently, invited Khabib to a rematch hours later; “Don’t be scared of a rematch you little scurrying rat. You will do what you are told like you always do.” The Dubliner has been campaigning for a run back with his fierce foe ever since the October 2018 defeat, but according to Nurmagomedov, who is said to be planning a September return, the victor of the UFC 236 Interm Lightweight clash between Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier is likely to meet Khabib in a unification bout, possibly in a UFC return to Abu Dhabi.
In tweets since deleted by McGregor, he took aim at Khabib’s brother and wife; “I smacked your brother around and took a shit in this hat.” McGregor then posted two pictures of both Khabib and his wife, who is dressed in the traditional Muslim hijab, accompanied by the caption; “Your wife is a towel mate.“
Controversial manager Ali Abdelaziz then jumped to Twitter, unleashing a tirade against Conor McGregor; “Talking shit, this gut is insulting someone’s wife and making fun of her religion and belief. He doesn’t realize he’s insulting 1.5 billion Muslims. Religion and family is a no no. You’re fucked Connor, let’s see what the media is going to say now. He’s a rapist, and a bitch.“
Former UFC Heavyweight Ruslan Magomedov received a lifetime ban from UFC partner USADA earlier this week, and the one time training partner of Nurmagomedov was the next target for McGregor in an already ugly back and forth; “Wow another dagestani caught abusing steroids. That’s 2 out of 3 in this picture busted for steroid abuse, with the most recent being busted 3 times in a row and now hit with a lifetime ban. Excellent job @JeffNovitskyUFC. The only vice that cannot be given is hypocrisy.” The picture in question features Ruslan Magomedov, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Zubaira Tukhugov, who was handed a two year suspension after an out of competition test resulted in a positive finding of the banned substance ostarine, and is currently carrying a suspension for his involvement in the the aforementioned UFC 229 scuffle.
Khabib Nurmagomedov responded on Wednesday to McGregor’s post, showing a picture of McGregor and Terri Murray, a 26 year-old Liverpudlian who claims McGregor is the father of her daughter; “Rapist, you are Rapist. You are a hypocrite who is not responsible for your actions. Justice will find you. We will see. @TheNotoriousMMA“
This outburst from Nurmagomedov resulted in Dana White’s aforementioned involvement and statement, but the exchange didn’t end there, with Conor once more aiming a barb at Khabib’s wife; “Plot twist: It’s a goat under that towel.” Khabib moments later once more fired back at his Lightweight rival; “@TheNotoriousMMA If you think that insulting entire religion you be safe, you are mistaken.“
Conor McGregor then reminisced back to the Brooklyn incident between Nurmagomedov and Artem Lobov, which led to the subsequent April bus attack; “You sent this exact threat to my coach back in 2016 also. I remember it well. Before you and your team attacked my teammate in a Brooklyn hotel. Remember where this all began. God sees all.“
In the early hours of Thursday morning, McGregor seems to have made a ‘u-turn’ on a second brief retirement, once more calling for a rematch with Nurmagomedov; “I want to move forward, with all my fans of all faiths and all backgrounds. All faiths challenge us to be our best selves. It is one world and one for all ❤️ Now see you in the Octagon.“
More updates as the situation develops.