UFC featherweight Artem Lobov has opened up about an infamous confrontation with his former friend and fellow Russian UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov in April.
Speaking publicly for the first time about the incident, Lobov (29-14 record) also went into depth about what changed his opinion of his fellow fighter.
Joe reported Lobov as saying it all began when Nurmagomedov started referring to Conor McGregor as 'a chicken', who is a training partner of Lobov.
"I'm not sure why he did that, or why he started to, because everything was just fine before that.
"Conor had never said anything bad toward Khabib. But, for some reason, Khabib started to call him chicken.
"It might not sound very serious to you guys, but, just so you know, chicken is one of the most severe insults you can give a man in Russia.
"In fact, you call someone a chicken in Russia, that is a person who gets raped, in prison; in a male prison.
"That's what a chicken is in Russia, and Khabib knows that. Everybody knows that. It is a very, very, very severe insult."
Lobov, who has a good friendship with McGregor, says that the Irishman did not take the insult personally.
Touching on his issues with Nurmagomedov, Lobov admitted he had to take his share of the blame for igniting the feud.
In a Russian interview in 2016, Lobov accused Nurmagomedov of feigning injuries and finding other issues to pull out of fights.
While the pair met up on a couple of occasions afterwards, it was the incident in a hotel lobby before UFC 223 which ignited the situation.
When Nurmagomedov saw Lobov in the hotel, he decided to take issue with what he said face-to-face.
Lobov was not keen on a scene, but only got physical when he was mobbed my members of Nurmagomedov's entourage.
After the incident, McGregor was quickly on the phone to offer his support.
"There was only one good message, from Conor," he said.
"He wrote, 'I'm on the way, I’m coming over, and I don’t care what, when, who, why. I don't give a f**k. You're my brother and I’m on the way over."
A moment of madness then came over the Irishman, which could have ended with him being sent to jail for an indefinite period, as well as ending his fight career when he smashed up the bus of Nurmagomedov.
McGregor's punishment involved community service and having to pay for the damage that he inflicted.
Lobov, who was reprimanded by Dana White for his part in the incident, has looked to put the distasteful incident behind him and focus on his own career.