Mac attack! RT Sport breaks down Conor McGregor's EIGHT-TWEET social media rant at Khabib, Gaethje, Ferguson and Poirier
McGregor was all set to make 2020 his big comeback year. He declared that he had set out his "2020 Season," starting with his January fight with Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone at UFC 246, and would then move on to bigger and better matchups as the year progressed.
The first part of that plan worked perfectly. He stepped into the octagon in Las Vegas and blitzed Cerrone in just 40 seconds to announce his return to action. But then the unexpected coronavirus pandemic put the sporting world – and McGregor's plans – on indefinite hold.
Now, with the UFC back up and running thanks to a successful UFC 249 show this past weekend, McGregor jumped back on Twitter and, with his eight million followers hanging on his every word, he issued an aggressive "State of the Union" Twitter rant as he took aim at his big rivals in the UFC's lightweight division.Also on rt.com 'UFC is back!' Octagon girls don their iconic outfits for Instagram to celebrate UFC's return to our screens (PHOTOS)
Here's what we learned from McGregor's eight-tweet rant:
HE'S READY TO RETURN
The fans make the sport!Watching the other night I was against going in without them. But it will be my fucking pleasure to display the power I possess with zero background noise for them. Its me and Justin next as khabib is the biggest bottle fighter in the game.Guarantee it.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 11, 2020
This was McGregor's first tweet of the night, and the one that will have excited both the UFC brass and his legion of fight fans around the world.
Many wondered if McGregor would be prepared to come back and fight at an event without fans present. Perhaps more than any other fighter on the roster, McGregor thrives off the crowd. His support is raucous, loud (and often very, very drunk), and they support him to the hilt. McGregor fight weeks are like no other for that exact reason. Anyone who was in Las Vegas for his fights against Chad Mendes or Jose Aldo will remember how his Irish fans took over the city.
It wasn't sure whether he'd still be as thirsty to fight with the action taking place behind closed doors. But now he's said that, after being unsure himself, he IS ready to come back and fight "with zero background noise."
He then took aim at both Justin Gaethje and Khabib Nurmagomedov, saying he'll face the new interim champion next, because Khabib is the "biggest bottle fighter in the game."
If you're Justin Gaethje, you must be delighted. You've got the Khabib fight lined up, and if that doesn't materialize, he's got the biggest name in the game ready to step in.
As for Khabib, this is McGregor daring him to actually come back and defend his title. Which is a little strange, given the fact that Khabib has done that multiple times, yet Conor never defended either of his belts while he was UFC champ.Also on rt.com From Pulver to Khabib: Recapping EVERY lightweight champion in UFC history (VIDEO)
WORDS FOR FERGUSON
I love Tony. We represented him amazingly at Paradigm sports and were betrayed for a promise of a baseball contract. But frame and preparation here was just embarrassing. His methods and conversation are humorous/enjoyable but he was never the level perceived. Although tough.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 11, 2020
McGregor then turned his attention to his former managerial stablemate Tony Ferguson, who left Paradigm Sports Management to join the Ballengee Group.
McGregor has used that switch to take shots at Ferguson before, and he referenced it again, by suggesting Ferguson's preparation wasn't up to par, while also suggesting Ferguson wasn't as good as many perceived him to be.
Twelve consecutive wins in the UFC's most talent-stacked division is no joke, however, and while his most recent outing ended in defeat, there's no doubt Ferguson is one of the world's best at 155.
For comparison, McGregor has fought twice in the UFC's 155-pound division, winning once and losing once.Also on rt.com 'Heads up Tony': Khabib Nurmagomedov sends message of support to Tony Ferguson after UFC 249
MATCHMAKING THE DIVISION
It is Dustin/Tony next when Tony heals. If he does. Dustin will beat him also if changes are not made. Which they won’t. Dustin, although game, and in the mix, will be fed to the floor again. Couple wins here/there then folded in half. Rinse and repeat - Dustin career.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 11, 2020
While McGregor has his sights set on either Gaethje or Khabib, he also took the opportunity to matchmake for some of the other stars of the 155-pound class.
McGregor says Ferguson's next fight should be against former title challenger Dustin Poirier, who is looking to build his way back to another title shot.
"Mystic Mac" even gave us a prediction, saying that Poirier would defeat Ferguson unless "El Cucuy" switched up his pre-fight preparations.
But, not wanting his rivals to take too many positives from the tweet, McGregor then immediately shot down Poirier's title aspirations, by saying he would be "fed to the floor" again.Also on rt.com 'I want the real thing!' Justin Gaethje REFUSES to wear interim belt after UFC 249 win, calls for unification bout with Khabib
TURNING UP THE HEAT ON GAETHJE
Justin, there is no danger in a man that hugs legs, we all know. Try and dance around what the real threat is here all you want. I am going to fucking butcher you. Your teeth. I’m going to put them on a fucking necklace.Speak on my skills as a father? You are fucking dead.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 11, 2020
Don’t ever say you represent the great nation of the United States of America ever again. No true American would speak so highly of, or allow, a convicted member of a Jihadi terror cell represent them. Never Forget!You are a fucking blind fool, and I am going to finish the job.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 11, 2020
Then McGregor's tone started to get a little darker as he zeroed in on newly-crowned interim champ Gaethje.
He hinted at the possibility that Gaethje would want to avoid him, and then threw out his first serious trash talk at "The Highlight" by dropping a series of F-bombs and issuing threats. There were some pointed words about Gaethje's manager, Ali Abdelaziz, whom he shares with current world champ Khabib.
Words like those might intimidate lesser fighters, but Gaethje isn't going to be at all concerned. It all works in his favor. If the Khabib fight doesn't happen, he gets a huge fight with a man who he's called out before. Now that man is calling back. If the title fight doesn't materialize, I'm sure he'll be more than happy to oblige.Also on rt.com Khabib's manager Ali Abdelaziz SLAMS 'jealous prostitute' Conor McGregor: 'He knows his time is done' (VIDEO)
HE HASN'T FORGOTTEN KHABIB
Khabib you absolute embarrassment. Scurrying, hiding rat as usual. As I have said many times. As has been seen many times. Through the pane of glass it was confirmed what was always known. “No comment” lol. An embarrassment to real fighting.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 11, 2020
After throwing threats and insults Gaethje's way, McGregor then turned his attention to Khabib, as he labeled the undefeated champion – who submitted him when they fought at UFC 229 – an "embarrassment to real fighting."
The "through the pane of glass" comment was a reference to McGregor's now-infamous attack on the bus containing Khabib at UFC 223. That incident took the McGregor-Khabib rivalry to new levels, birthed one of Khabib's most famous catchphrases, "Send me location," and set the pair on collision course for a fight in Las Vegas, which Khabib won in convincing fashion.
GAETHJE, KHABIB, THEN UP TO 170
After this division demolition job. It is 170lbs.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 11, 2020
See you in July 🇮🇪☘️🇺🇸— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 12, 2020
Signing off with his final two tweets, McGregor laid out his basic plan. He wants to clean house at the top of the UFC's lightweight division, most likely by facing Gaethje first, then avenging his defeat to Khabib in a rematch.
Then he wants to move up to the 170-pound welterweight division, where a whole host of new challenges – including BMF champ Jorge Masvidal, reigning UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and fellow trash-talker Colby Covington, await.
He then hinted at his likely return date by simply finishing his Twitter storm with a simple message: "See you in July."
The UFC is unlikely to be playing to full houses by then, but whether it's behind closed doors at the UFC Apex, or in front of 100,000 fans at Las Vegas's new Allegiant Stadium, McGregor clearly wants to get the show back on the road again, and he's taken aim at just about everyone at 155 pounds to stir the pot ahead of his return.Also on rt.com McGregor calls Khabib a ‘scurrying rat’, gets reminded of own ‘embarrassment’ in Twitter spat