Khabib opted to retire from the Octagon shortly after the passing of his father Abdulmanap, who was also his trainer and cornerman. The Eagle rode off into the sunset as the undefeated lightweight champion of the world, holding an unblemished 29-0 record following his final victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.
Unwilling to allow his former foe to enjoy the gifts of retirement, brash Irish fighter McGregor took to social media yesterday, on what was the three-year anniversary of Khabib’s lightweight championship win vs Al Iaquinta, to troll the Dagestani legend.
McGregor posted a series of comic insults to Twitter after ESPN MMA analyst Brett Okamoto shared a video of UFC 233 from 2018, featuring the recently crowned lightweight champion Khabib fresh from his victory over Al Iaquinta.
Despite having just claimed championship gold, Khabib is preoccupied with some of McGregor’s pre-fight antics in the video and threatens to “humble” the Irishman should they meet in the Octagon.
Khabib was of course still riled about the notorious McGregor bus attack that took place during the build-up to UFC 233 in Brooklyn, New York. Prior to that, Khabib had tried to intimidate McGregor’s training partner Artem Lobov during a heated altercation in a hotel lobby at the UFC’s media day.
McGregor sprung to the defence of his training partner with reckless abandon, bringing a gang of friends with him to New York to attack the bus carrying UFC fighters to and from the stadium.
Amongst the medley, a window was broken and a piece of stray glass hit lightweight contender Michael Chiesa in the eye, meaning he had to be pulled from his fight.
Less than impressed with having his bus attacked, one of Khabib’s most famous quotes was actually coined during the ruckus when the Dagestani Eagle demanded that McGregor “send me location” multiple times.
Of course, McGregor obliged, and the location was set; the T-Mobile Arena in las Vegas, Nevada, scene of UFC 229.
The Irishman may have wished he didn’t set the location now, mind. Khabib dominated the fight in the opening rounds and, though McGregor did improve in the third round, the Russian was quick to tap him out with a brutal neck crank in the fourth.
Not exactly famed for being humble, McGregor is apparently still trying to goad the Dagestani fighter back into the Octagon, commenting on Okamoto’s post: “The Dagi on the bus goes poo poo poo, all thru the town.”
McGregor also commented on a Khabib tweet from seven years ago in which he was asking the Notorious one for some signed merchandise. The now-deleted post read: “Get this man a T-shirt! And a nappy for the bus.”
Unsurprisingly, yesterday’s tirade isn’t the first time McGregor has attempted to provoke Khabib on social media. On his retirement, McGregor posted to Instagram: “Happy retirement, kid – smell ya later. Never forget who came in the game and made ye. Straight from my big Irish balls.”
McGregor already has his hands full with the ‘Diamond’ Dustin Poirier, who the Irishman will face in the third and final leg of their trilogy contest on July 10.
After being knocked out by the game Louisiana native in their second fight earlier this year, McGregor may wish to switch his focus away from Khabib and back to Poirier for the time being.
Not least because the winner of the McGregor vs Poirier trilogy fight is all-but guaranteed a shot at the winner of Michael Chandler vs Charles Oliviera for the lightweight crown towards the back end of the year.
Meanwhile, Chandler vs Oliviera will meet to claim ownership of Khabib’s recently vacated lightweight title at UFC 262, May 15.