The social media feud between UFC stars Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, along with the Russian’s training partners, is showing no signs of slowing as the Irishman took aim at Dagestani fighters in a since-deleted tweet.
Nurmagomedov is set to defend his UFC lightweight title against interim 155lb champ Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi in September in what will be his first fight since an October 2018 fourth-round submission win against McGregor.
There has been a significant fallout between the two fighters since the UFC 229 main event, even in the wake of McGregor’s infamous attack on a bus carrying Nurmagomedov in Brooklyn, New York in April of last year.
The post-fight melee which ensued following the bout as a result of Khabib jumping from the cage to attack members of McGregor’s corner, as well as the brawl that occurred in the Octagon afterwards, amped the rivalry between the two fighters to new heights and launched a toxic social media battle between the two, causing UFC President Dana White to intervene.
“I am aware of the recent social media exchange between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor,” White said in a statement a month ago.
“The ongoing situation has escalated to a level that is unacceptable. As such, we are taking the necessary steps to reach out to both athlete camps and this situation is being addressed by all parties internally.”
Both camps appear to have taken some heed of this warning in recent weeks until McGregor launched another social media salvo at Nurmagomedov and a selection of training partners on Monday.
Replying to a Tweet which listed Nurmagomedov and a number of his teammates as being expected expected to compete at the September event in the Middle East, McGregor highlighted some in Nurmagomedov’s corner while calling all the fighters “dirty, smelly rats.”
“Team Meldonium,” McGregor wrote. “3 on this list caught on performance enhancers in the past already.
“Islam, Zubaira and Mairbek. Dirty smelly rats all of them.”
The tweet has since been deleted by McGregor.
Makhachev did indeed test positive for meldonium, a drug used to increase the performance of cells in your body, though he was found to have ingested it accidentally and no suspension was levied.
Tukhugov, meanwhile, was banned for two years after being found to have ostarine in his system while Taisumov was given a six-month suspension for anabolic steroid Stanozolol.
Neither Khabib nor Abubakar Nurmagomedov have ever failed a drug test.
McGregor has been lobbying for a rematch with Khabib, though it is expected that this bout may not take place until 2020 at the earliest.
Speculation in the press has suggested that the UFC are investigating the possibility of booking McGregor’s return to action against top lightweight contender Tony Ferguson.