It appears as though Conor McGregor has struck a nerve with the Chechen government.
The former two division UFC champion referenced Chechen strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov in an attempt to play mind games with lightwweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov during the UFC 229 press conference in New York City. McGregor referred to Kadyrov as the “crazy dictator” — a statement that has since caused an uproar within the Chechen republic.
Dzhambulat Umarov, the Chechen minister for National Policy, External Relations, Press and Information made an appearance on the Moscow radio station Govorit Moskova, where he questioned McGregor’s mental health and attacked the Irishman daring to speak out against Kadyrov.
”We give him [McGregor] his due. He is a great entertainer in the UFC, but lately he has acted like an outrageous clown who imagines himself to be a showman,” said Umarov. “What he blurted out at the press conference about Ramzan Kadyrov and Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father, apparently, he was trying to earn points. And this fact leads me to an alarming thought about the mental health of this man.
Shortly following McGregor’s comments, Khusein Khaliev, a Chechen fighter who represents Kadyrov’s Akhmat MMA fight club, stated that McGregor will have to “answer for his words,” a statement which was supported by Umarov.
”As for Khussein Khaliev, of course, I understand,” Umarov confirmed. “I support his motives, I support and understand their anger. Although I believe that such statements only leads to more attention for McGregor, who is not able to answer for his words and deeds like a real man otherwise he would not have made these statements from thousands of kilometres away and would not behave like a Mexican cockerel.”
Umarov concluded by stating that he does not believe an apology from McGregor would be able to redeem his character.
“In that obscene image that he himself made, even his apologies will not fit.”