In the absence of a direct confrontation since the bus debacle, we’ve been restricted to social media jabs between Team McGregor and Khabib’s camp.
The most notable of these was when Conor McGregor tagged Khabib’s father on Instagram, attaching a screenshot of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov on the bus during that fateful day and calling him a ‘quivering coward’.
A few weeks prior, Abdulmanap had some words of his own to say regarding the Irishman, claiming his figure was more suited to women’s figure skating than wrestling, among other insults.
Now, having caught wind of McGregor’s comment aimed at him, Abdulmanap told Russia Today that while McGregor’s mind games won’t get to them, they will not forgive him.
“Mentally they can’t get (under our skin). In that aspect we are standing firm,” the 55-year-old told RT.
“We are even letting certain things pass. But we are not forgiving anything. The cage and the fight are still ahead (for Khabib and Conor).”
He’s even looking past the former lightweight champion, favouring a fight with Tony Ferguson for his undefeated son.
“For the hype, for the money, to bury Conor’s era it (the situation) is even better for us. But if we talk purely sports-wise – we still want the Ferguson fight. I really want him to come back and defeat (Anthony) Pettis. The intrigue is still there, and the whole world is interested (in the Ferguson fight). It would be 11 and 0 Khabib [in the UFC], 11 and 0 for him. And the fight that hasn’t happened yet.”
It will prove tougher to brush off the insults if he is in tow with his son’s camp once they and Team McGregor congregate in Veagas, whether that be during the expected press conference or during fight week itself.