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3 Jul, 2019 17:19

'Abu Dhabi is no place for show-offs': Khabib sends McGregor warning about attending UFC 242

'Abu Dhabi is no place for show-offs': Khabib sends McGregor warning about attending UFC 242

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has told fierce rival Conor McGregor to behave himself ahead of his September title defense against Dustin Poirier, warning the Irishman that his 'shenanigans' won't work in Abu Dhabi.

Nurmagomedov will undertake the second defence of his championship at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi on September 7 against interim titleholder Poirier. However, given the heated nature of the Russian's rivalry with McGregor, it seems that the Irishman is still very much on his mind.

Both fighters have been involved in several incidents dating back more than a year. Nurmagomedov and several members of his team antagonized McGregor's teammate Artem Lobov in Brooklyn in April 2018, prompting McGregor to board a flight from Dublin to New York to confront Nurmagomedov, leading to the now-infamous 'bus attack' which transpired in the car park of Brooklyn's Barclays Center, ultimately leading to McGregor's arrest. 

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At their fight in October of last year, which Nurmagomedov won by fourth round submission, the Russian was handed a suspension for his part in inciting a post-fight brawl inside and outside of the cage with members of McGregor's team.

Nurmagomedov has warned McGregor that any repeat of these incidents will not be looked on kindly in the predominantly Muslim Abu Dhabi.

"It will be more difficult to leave Abu Dhabi than New York," Khabib said to Russia’s Rossiya-24.

"If he wants to come, he should sit and watch the fights because it will be impossible to pull any of his underhanded tricks there, because Abu Dhabi is not New York by any means.

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"Although I've been to many places and Abu Dhabi and Dubai are some of the safest places. I think people who have been to Emirates will agree with me. But this is not a place for show-offs.

"Let him come if he plans to come, but his shenanigans won’t work there," he added.

McGregor, meanwhile, has spoken of his desire for a rematch against Nurmagomedov in future but it is understood that plans for him to make his UFC comeback this summer were waylaid by a hand injury he suffered in training.