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19 Mar, 2021 15:40

‘Never forget who made you’: Ex-UFC champ Conor McGregor offers snarky ‘happy retirement’ message to one-time bitter rival Khabib

‘Never forget who made you’: Ex-UFC champ Conor McGregor offers snarky ‘happy retirement’ message to one-time bitter rival Khabib

UFC star Conor McGregor has wished his former foe Khabib Nurmagomedov a happy retirement on social media – but in typically provocative fashion, the ex-champion relished the opportunity to take a dig at the Russian icon.

Writing alongside an old snap of the pair taken in an age before they ignited one of MMA’s most bitter rivalries, ‘Notorious’ appeared to reference Nurmagomedov's dislike of weight cuts in a post to his millions of Instagram followers in the hours following UFC president Dana White's confirmation that his most prized fighter had retired from the sport.

"Happy retirement, kid – smell ya later," wrote McGregor, who returned to the octagon in January after publicly teasing his own retirement for much of last year.

"Never forget who came in the game and made ye. Straight from my big Irish balls.

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"Remember, folks: if you hate cutting weight so much, all you have to do is move up a division."

The cheeky post came after White finally officially accepted the 29-0 legend’s wish to step away from the sport, which he publicly voiced immediately after beating Justin Gaethje at UFC 259 in October.

White has set up a May bout between Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira to decide a new owner for the lightweight strap, while McGregor looks certain to face Dustin Poirier for a third time in an attempt to avenge his knockout loss to the American on his long-awaited return.

Until then, the mouthy ex-two division ruler is as keen as ever to wind up Nurmagomedov, who memorably beat McGregor in October 2018 via a fourth-round submission that concluded with a bad-blood brawl involving several cornermen.

Unimpressed fans called McGregor everything from "classless" to "cringy" in response to his post, as well as dubbing him the type of "weight bully" he had alluded to Nurmagomedov being when the Irishman dominated the likes of Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo before being found out at 155lb.

Others couldn’t tell if the 32-year-old was playing around or being sincere – but if McGregor wishes to rise to the top again and challenge either Chandler or Oliveira, he had better start acting seriously.

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