Conor McGregor rips on Khabib Nurmagomedov: ‘Khabib scurried out of the US to home’

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor UFC 229

Conor McGregor has been screaming from the rooftops about what he believes his country and the world should be doing to stem the tide of the covid-19 global pandemic. But that hasn’t stopped him from using it to take another dig at rival Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The Irishman has posted a few videos since the novel coronavirus was elevated from an epidemic to a pandemic, spreading across the globe. He both praised his country’s government for increasing restrictions and called on them to do more, including shutting down airports and urging the utilization of the country’s defense forces to ensure restrictions were being obeyed.

Covid-19 has accelerated its spread over the past few weeks, but UFC president Dana White has tried his hardest to keep an April 18 date for UFC 249 intact. He had initially hoped to keep the lightweight championship between Nurmagomedov and challenger Tony Ferguson as the headliner, but that bout has fallen apart and McGregor is using it as a weapon to attack the champion.

“The fact of this matter is, both Tony and Khabib where engaged in a game of chicken here towards the fight bell. With Khabib chickening out first. Making it 3-2 in pullouts in Tony’s favour,” McGregor wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

“Khab scurried out of the U.S to home, and amid the crisis. Very high risk. Congrats Tony.”

Why did Khabib return to Russia ahead of UFC 249?

Nurmagomedov had been in the United States training at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif., for the April 18 bout with Ferguson. When things started to shift because of the pandemic, Nurmagomedov made the decision to return home to Russia. 

“We were training in the AKA without any information regarding the fight, where and how is it going to happen,” Nurmagomedov said, as translated by RT Sport. “Then the UFC told us that the fight 100-percent isn’t happening in the States. And they said that 99-percent that it will happen in Emirates, Abu Dhabi.

“After talking to the UFC, we decided to fly over to the Emirates a month before the fight. I don’t remember the exact date, it was 19th or 20th, I’ll have to check. But when we landed in Emirates we learned that they are going to close borders. And no one will be able to leave or fly in, with exception for residents. So we had to fly back to Russia.”

Now, Russia has closed its borders to almost all international traffic. There was a tiny window left open, as Russia still allows private business travel, but Nurmagomedov seemed to shut the door on that idea as well on Wednesday.

“Staying home in quarantine and reading the reaction of people to the situation around my fight, it turns out that the whole world should be in quarantine, governments of all countries, famous people around the world urge people to follow all safety requirements in order to limit the spread of the disease, to save people, and Khabib is the only one relieved of all obligations and must demonstrate free will and train flying around the world, for the sake of fight?” Nurmagomedov said.

“I understand everything and I’m definitely upset more than you to cancel the fight, probably like all others, I had many plans after the fight, but I can’t control it all.”

Perhaps he was referring at least in part to McGregor when he mentioned famous people around the world urge people to follow all safety requirements, as McGregor has done just that in his multiple video posts.


TRENDING > Tony Ferguson: Khabib ‘should be stripped of his title’


Conor McGregor glad he didn’t have a fight booked during covid-19 crisis

In fact, McGregor, just before taking a dig at Nurmagomedov on Thursday, almost seemed to be coming to his defense in his tweet immediately prior to that one.

“I am in shape to fight right now! At the beginning of all this, I said to myself – I’m happy I don’t have an official fight booked,” he wrote. “If I did, I would have consumed all the incorrect data to support me taking part in the bout, and I would have followed through, competed. And won.”

Nurmagomedov defeated McGregor via a fourth-round submission at UFC 229 on Oct. 6, 2018. Evidently, the rift between McGregor and Nurmagomedov runs so deep that nothing is off limits, even in the time of a global pandemic.

On This Day: Nick Diaz, ‘I don’t have a job now. This is what I do. I fight.’ (UFC 47 Flashback)

Nick Diaz at UFC 53


On April 2, 2004, Nick Diaz fought for the second time under the UFC banner. After defeating Jeremy Jackson in his promotional debut in 2003, Diaz returned at UFC 47 to blast Robbie Lawler, knocking him out early in the second round.

It was the fight that announced Nick Diaz to the mixed martial arts world.

Though Diaz was a WEC and Strikeforce champion, he would never capture UFC gold. He did, however, become one of the most popular fighters in the history of the sport, fighting the likes of Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre, BJ Penn, and Frank Shamrock in epic battles.

Take a look back to Diaz’s UFC 47 post-fight interview with MMAWeekly.com co-founder Ryan Bennett.

“Just because it says jiu-jitsu on all my clothes… I’m a fighter. Before I ever started doing jiu-jitsu, I got in fights in school. I didn’t do good in school. I don’t have a job now. This is what I do. I fight.”

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TRENDING > Conor McGregor rips on Khabib Nurmagomedov: ‘Khabib scurried out of the US to home’


Where is Nick Diaz now?

That is a good question. Diaz has never formally retired, though he’s teased at various times throughout his career that he was either done with fighting or that he wanted to be done but need to keep fighting for the money.

Having gone undefeated from 2008 through 2011, Diaz has only fought three times since he defeated BJ Penn at UFC 137 on Oct. 29, 2011. He did not win any of his final three fights.

Diaz lost decisions to Carlos Condit in an interim UFC welterweight title fight in 2012, to Georges St-Pierre in a battle for the undisputed welterweight championship in 2013, and then to Anderson Silva in 2015 in a five-round non-championship headliner.

The bout with Silva was later changed to a no contest after both fighters tested positive and were suspended for having used banned substances.

Diaz hasn’t fought again since the UFC 183 headliner with Silva on Jan. 31, 2015.

It’s On! Watch Tito Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell at UFC 47, the fight that kicked off the trilogy (free fight)

Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz UFC47


A brief history of the Tito Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell rivalry

The Tito Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell rivalry is one of the most storied pairings in the history of mixed martial arts. UFC 47 was the first time they finally fought in the Octagon. Watch the full fight! 

Ortiz and Liddell were once friends. Believe it or not, they were both clients of Dana White before he enlisted the Fertitta brothers to purchase the UFC in January 2001 for $2 million. The Fertittas sold the company in 2017 for a reported $4.2 billion.

Following the UFC purchase, Ortiz and Liddell found different management, Ortiz holding the light heavyweight championship.

Liddell was one of the top contenders to Ortiz’s title and their relationship began to crumble. 

By the time they finally stepped into the Octagon at UFC 47 on April 2, 2004, neither held the belt. Randy Couture took the belt from Ortiz at UFC 44 in September of 2003. Liddell, having lost to Couture at UFC 43, had been off in Japan representing the UFC while fighting in the Pride FC Middleweight Grand Prix. Liddell defeated Alistair Overeem in Japan, but lost to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the semi-final round.

When they met at UFC 47, Ortiz and Liddell was each looking to get back into the championship fold.

Ortiz and Liddell would go on to fight again at UFC 66 on Dec. 30, 2006. The final bout of their trilogy, however, wouldn’t take place for almost another 12 years on  Nov. 24, 2018, under the Golden Boy Promotions banner of Oscar De La Hoya. UFC president Dana White refused to sign the trilogy bout.

Liddell returned to retirement following the trilogy fight. Ortiz had planned for the fight to be one-and-done for him, as well, but was lured into a multi-fight contract with Combate Americas.

(Courtesy of UFC)


TRENDING > On This Day: Nick Diaz, ‘I don’t have a job now. This is what I do. I fight.’ (UFC 47 Flashback)


Tito Ortiz in the lead-up to UFC 47 bout with Chuck Liddell

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Khabib Nurmagomedov rebukes UFC 249 critics: ‘I am Khabib. I am not coronavirus.’

Khabib Nurmagomedov - UFC 229 Post-Fight

UFC president Dana White has been hard at work trying everything within his power to keep UFC 249 intact. His initial belief was that he’d even be able to keep the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson main event intact. 

Amidst the regulatory hurdles and restrictions that continue to fly up, White is running out of time to stick with his intended April 18 date. But even if he is able to do so, the main event between Khabib and Ferguson has been nixed for the fifth time. 

After returning to Russia, Nurmagomedov found himself basically locked down, as his country closed its borders. There was a glimmer of hope that he might be able to fly around the globe on a private business flight in order to keep the fight intact. He didn’t appear to see the sense in that when nearly everyone, including longtime rival Conor McGregor, has been urging everyone to remain where they are to decrease the risk of continuing to spread the covid-19 virus that has the world under a pandemic crisis.

Nurmagomedov has received praise and criticism for his decision to honor the restrictions, but has become frustrated by those that continue to say that he is begging his way out of the fight. 

Even McGregor, who has been making public videos to implore his country and the world into a full-on lockdown, took the time to take a dig at Nurmagomedov, saying he chickened out of the fight with Ferguson.

In a video posted by ESPN MMA on Twitter, Nurmagomedov defended his position:

“My name is Khabib. I am not coronavirus. Dana is Dana. Tony Ferguson is Tony Ferguson. My name is Khabib, but number one thing that make me crazy when people say I pull out or I do something. I no understand this. I still training since December. I train very hard, 9 December. I come (to) U.S. because UFC give me location, New York Barclays Center. I come U.S. I train 40 days, then everything is go crazy. They say U.S.A. 100 percent no fight. Okay. We move to Abu Dhabi, Dubai. Why? Because they told me 99 percent it’s gonna be in Dubai. Like last my training camp, how I did, I come to U.S. I train with Coach Javier in AKA 55 days then we move to Abu Dhabi because fight was in Abu Dhabi. I understand, if Abu Dhabi, no problem. We did this before, we’re gonna do this one more time. We come. They close gate. But this is not my problem. I don’t make mistake. One more time, I wanna say I am Khabib, I’m not coronavirus.”


TRENDING > Khabib Nurmagomedov declares himself out of UFC 249 main event



Conor McGregor rips on Khabib Nurmagomedov for UFC 249 withdrawal

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California cancels all combat sports through May, including UFC and Bellator events

Josh Copeland PFL 8 knockout

The California State Athletic Commission, as first reported by ESPN, has canceled all combat sports events in its state through the end of May.

Under guidance of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, the move was a proactive measure to help inhibit the spread of the covid-19 virus that has the world dealing with a global pandemic.

“The Commission didn’t take this decision lightly and understands the potential economic loss to promoters and the industry of combative sports. We had to weigh the best interest of our fighters and the community around us,” the CSAC statement said.

The UFC has already postponed at least three events, though company president Dana White has insisted on trying to move forward with UFC 249 on April 18. He has yet to name a location or a new main event now that UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is set to remain in place in his home country of Russia.

The UFC had one date slated for California in May. UFC on ESPN+ 33 was slated for May 16 at Pechanga Arena with a main event featuring lightweights Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker. That event, at minimum, will have to move locations or be rescheduled for a later date.

In addition to the UFC, Bellator MMA had also been slated for two events in California in May. 

Bellator 242 was set to feature dual-division champion Ryan Bader defend his light heavyweight strap against Vadim Nemkov on May 9 in San Jose. Former UFC contender Liz Carmouche was expected to make her promotion debut opposite Mandy Böhm in the Bellator 243 headliner on May 29, at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula.


TRENDING > Khabib Nurmagomedov rebukes UFC 249 critics: ‘I am Khabib. I am not coronavirus.’


Bellator had already announced that it was cancelling its May events prior to the release from the California State Athletic Commission.

Most other fight promotions around the globe have canceled all events through at least April, if not May.

Watch every front kick finish in UFC history

 


Officially, there have only been six finishes due to front kick in UFC History with the most famous instance occurring at UFC 126 in 2011 between then-middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort.

Also featured in the highlights is Lyoto Machida retiring Randy Couture, and more.


TRENDING > Dana White vows UFC will not lay off any employees: ‘I don’t care how long this lasts!’


(Courtesy of UFC)

Tony Ferguson Says Khabib & Conor McGregor Are Due For An ‘Ass Whooping’

Tony Ferguson wants to serve up an “ass whooping” for Khabib Nurmagomedov, then Conor McGregor. Ferguson expressed frustration in yet another canceled bout with Nurmagomedov. The two were scheduled to collide for “The Eagle’s” UFC lightweight title on April 18. That is no longer the case as Nurmagomedov is stuck in Russia where a travel […]

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Dominick Reyes Says Jon Jones ‘Needs Some Real Help’ After Latest Arrest

Dominick Reyes believes Jon Jones needs help after his latest arrest for DWI, negligent use of a firearm, and possession of an open container. It was no doubt a bad sight for many MMA fans seeing the light heavyweight champ get in trouble. For Reyes, he says the arrest proves “Bones” needs some real help. […]

The post Dominick Reyes Says Jon Jones ‘Needs Some Real Help’ After Latest Arrest appeared first on MMA News.

Chael Sonnen Doesn’t Believe Jon Jones Should Be Punished By UFC

Chael Sonnen feels what’s done is done when it comes to Jon Jones’ latest mishap. On March 26, Jones was arrested in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The UFC light heavyweight champion was charged with aggravated DWI, negligent use of a firearm, possession of an open container, and driving without proof of insurance. After reaching a plea […]

The post Chael Sonnen Doesn’t Believe Jon Jones Should Be Punished By UFC appeared first on MMA News.

Conor McGregor Speaks On Khabib vs. Tony Ferguson Falling Apart Yet Again

Conor McGregor applauds Tony Ferguson for winning the “game of chicken” against Khabib Nurmagomedov. Nurmagomedov was scheduled to put his UFC lightweight gold on the line against Ferguson on April 18. The title bout was set to headline UFC 249. Nurmagomedov found himself stuck in Russia as the country is under a travel ban. On […]

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