Water bottle thrown at Conor McGregor in Russia after fighter insults Khabib's homeland

Jack BaerYahoo Sports Contributor

Conor McGregor’s return is off to a roaring start.

The former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion announced his plan to return to the Octagon on Jan. 18 against an unnamed opponent — Donald Cerrone is seen as the frontrunner — at a news conference in Moscow on Thursday.

During the conference, McGregor was asked if he had plans to visit Dagestan since he was in Russia. Dagestan is a semi-autonomous republic in southwest Russia that is notable in this case for being the homeland of Khabib Nurmagomedov, the current UFC lightweight champion who dominated McGregor. But it’s very clear McGregor wants a rematch.

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McGregor’s response was predictable.

“I wouldn't go to Dagestan to take a s--- and that is the truth,” the fighter said.

Well, turns out insulting a region of 3 million people is going to leave some of those people quite unhappy.

A man apparently from Dagestan confronted McGregor at another Moscow media event on Friday for insulting the region, and the words quickly escalated to a water bottle being thrown in McGregor’s direction.

"All the people? My father, my brother ... you think are all cowards?" the man asked, to which McGregor answered, “Yes,” three times.

As the man was escorted away by security, McGregor simply said, “Shut up, you fool.”

Conor McGregor is indeed back. (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)
Conor McGregor is indeed back. (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

This is very obviously not the first time McGregor has seen pushback for insulting comments, and not even the first time he’s had a water bottle thrown in his direction at an event.

The Irishman and another of his rivals, Nate Diaz, exchanged water bottle tosses in the run-up to their fight at UFC 202.

From Jose Aldo to Khabib Nurmagomedov, McGregor has never been shy about taking shots at the homes of his opponents. That nature reached its low point when he called Nurmagomedov’s wife a “towel” on Twitter with a picture of her wearing an Islamic wedding garb. McGregor’s recent controversies also include a reported second allegation of sexual assault.

Enjoy the pay-per-view numbers, UFC.

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