Conor McGregor hits out at Khabib over call for UFC fighters to snub Colby Covington

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Conor McGregor has hit out at Khabib Nurmagomedov after the Russian called on UFC welterweights to avoid fighting Colby Covington.

Covington was allegedly the victim of an assault by rival Jorge Masvidal on Monday, with the latter having since been charged with felony battery. The police report said Masvidal had taken offence to Covington mentioning his children.

The alleged assault took place three weeks after Covington beat his former friend Masvidal in the main event of UFC 272, and Khabib placed blame for the incident on Covington.

“If you are stronger than someone inside the octagon, it does not mean that you can insult his children,” Nurmagomedov wrote on Twitter. “No one has the right to insult someone’s family.

“Once you have gone down this path, then be ready to back up your words. You were attacked by professional fighter, the same as you are, your own size, and you go press charges against him to the police?”

“I think all welterweights should refuse to fight Colby, just don’t accept fights with him, let him sit without a fight, it will probably significantly affect him and all fighters who even think of insulting families, who is provoking the fighters to look for someone in restaurants to deal with him.”

McGregor hit out at his fellow former UFC lightweight champion for the Russian’s take on the situation, however.

Colby Covington (left) outpointed Jorge Masvidal with relative ease at UFC 272 (Getty Images)
Colby Covington (left) outpointed Jorge Masvidal with relative ease at UFC 272 (Getty Images)

“He’d just go up to middleweight cos he’s not a fat F***y,” the Irishman wrote of Covington on Twitter.

Khabib and McGregor had a fierce rivalry in the UFC that culminated in the Russian submitting “Notorious” in October 2018 to retain the lightweight title.

Khabib fought twice more – once in 2019 and once in 2020 – again retaining the belt by submission on both occasions. After that latter win, against Justin Gaethje, Nurmagomedov retired from fighting. He now works as a coach.

McGregor, meanwhile, has fought three times since losing to Khabib. The Irishman finished Donald Cerrone in January 2020, before suffering two losses in 2021.

Both defeats came against old rival Dustin Poirier, who knocked out McGregor last January and won the pair’s next meeting in July when “Notorious” suffered a broken leg.