Former two-division champion McGregor shares a heated rivalry with former lightweight champion Nurmagomedov, who handily dispatched him in Oct. 2018 at UFC 229. Nurmagomedov would defend his belt two more times against Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje before deciding to step away from professional competition.
Following their bout, McGregor and Nurmagomedov did not appear to resolve their differences inside the cage as they continued trading verbal jabs at each other.
Team Nurmagomedov has no shortage of elite fighters among the ranks as ‘The Eagle’s protege Islam Makhachev sits atop the 155-pound UFC throne. Makhachev took the vacant belt last month by dominating former titleholder Charles Oliveira at UFC 280.
This past weekend, Khabib’s cousin Usman Nurmagomedov became the Bellator lightweight champion after defeating Patricio Pitbull at Bellator 288.
Khabib Taunts McGregor With ‘Take Over’ Jibe
In a speaking appearance on Sunday for Class A Events/Penny Appeal Canada, Nurmagomedov took a dig at McGregor, who once infamously said, ‘we are not here to take part, we are here to take over.’ He referenced his foe’s trademark phrase in making his case for team Nurmagomedov’s dominance in the sport.
“Right now we have current UFC and Bellator lightweight champions,” Nurmagomedov said. “This is amazing. I hear a long time ago when one guy was talking about ‘We’re here to take over’ but we’re here to take over.
“What’s interesting is, I don’t coach a lot of people. I coach people who have been around me since I was an active fighter, 10-15 guys. On the way to the arena, I looked, us 13 people have a combined win almost 300 fights. This is crazy. Nobody ever did this in MMA before. It has never happened.
“I’m very happy because I know it was my father’s hard work, the way he invested in us, taught us, pushed us, everything that even now his legacy keeps going.”
McGregor Hit Back at Nurmagomedov
‘The Notorious’ did not take long to issue his response after coming across Nurmagomedov’s taunt.
“I fight on,” McGregor wrote in a now-deleted tweet. “Your fathers plan is never complete because you quit and ran, brother. God bless. I’m still here if you wanna go again. But your fear of defeat means you’ve already lost. Run from it all you want. We all lose in the end. Death takes us all. I fear nothing but God.”
McGregor recently wrapped up shooting for his Hollywood debut in the upcoming remake of the 1989 cult classic film “Road House.” While he did challenge Nurmagomedov to a rematch, it seems unlikely as the undefeated Dagestani icon plans to stay firm on his retirement.
Company president Dana White confirmed McGregor would need to spend at least six months in the United States Anti-Doping Agency drug testing pool before he would be eligible to return to fighting. He got linked to a potential welterweight title shot for his comeback but no concrete developments have come.