It wouldn’t feel like a Conor McGregor fight without some open hostility on the table. The ‘Notorious’ fighter from SBG Ireland has made as much of a name for himself out of the cage as in it, attacking opponents over social media and – when the situation calls for it – in person with cans and dollies.
It’s a tactic that has largely served him well over the course of his career, baiting the likes of Jose Aldo and Eddie Alvarez into fast paced action fights early, where McGregor’s power and accuracy could really shine. Whether or not it works on Khabib Nurmagomedov remains to be seen.
The Dagestani has made his own reputation alongside McGregor’s, but it’s one largely built on cool, unbreakable confidence. When Conor McGregor went ape at UFC 223 – in retaliation for the ‘Eagle’’s perceived threats to McGregor teammate Artem Lobov earlier that week – Nurmagomedov made it known that he paid his rival’s antics as little attention as possible.
“I grew up like this. I don’t grow up throwing chairs at window. This is not my bus,” the AKA fighter told MMA Fighting.
But that doesn’t mean the former lightweight/featherweight double-champ is about to stop trying to get inside his opponent’s head. McGregor took to Instagram recently, this time to take a couple shots not just at Khabib, but at his father Abdulmanap as well.
“I can see you. Cowering behind fake respect. Just like your middle child. A quivering coward,” McGregor wrote.
The two men face off in the main event of UFC 229 on October 6th in Las Vegas, NV. There McGregor will once again have the chance to find out if his needling has paid off, or whether Nurmagomedov is just as unconcerned by the Irishman’s actions as he seems to be. Until then, McGregor has just over a month to see if he can work his way under his opponent’s skin.