UFC sensation Khamzat Chimaev has warned he will “smash” Conor McGregor after the Irish star traded Twitter blows with MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz – who counts Chimaev and former McGregor foe Khabib Nurmagomedov among his clients.
In a cryptic message on Saturday which was soon deleted, McGregor fired out the tweet: “MeDanaAliGonnaGetcha.”
That was seen by some as a renewed push from McGregor for a rematch with unbeaten lightweight champ Khabib, using UFC boss Dana White and potentially even the Russian’s manager Abdelaziz.
McGregor, White and Khabib will all be on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi next month, where the Irishman will face Dustin Poirier in a rematch of their 2014 encounter.
Newly-retired UFC lightweight king Khabib will be supporting teammates appearing on the promotion’s three-card run in the UAE.
McGregor’s tweet was shared by Abdelaziz with a series of ‘woozy face’ emojis – and the exchange continued with the manager referring to McGregor’s defeat to Khabib in 2018, while telling him to “go and get an IV and sober up because we know you are drunk or high.”
McGregor’s jibes – all of which have since been deleted – included the message “Robert Earl Britton is The Man!”, a sly reference to a false name allegedly used by Abdelaziz in the past, and which was said to have been linked to a criminal investigation.
You said to Khabib in the Cage only business Go get an IV and sober up because we know you drunk or high 🥴 https://t.co/O3SB0RPbkrpic.twitter.com/rSF0lOddxE
Here’s every tweet of Conor McGregor and Ali Abdelaziz talk on Twitter.Conor deleted his tweets, while Ali’s tweets are still available to see. pic.twitter.com/T4XFmmxyGM
But the back-and-forth came to the attention of UFC sensation Chimaev, who like McGregor will be on Fight Island in January, in his case to face Leon Edwards in their welterweight headliner on January 20, just three days before McGregor meets Poirier.
Chimaev has already joked that the UFC should ensure he doesn’t cross paths with McGregor, having traded online barbs in the past when the Irishman branded him ‘rat lip’.
The Chechen-born Chimaev – who now fights out of the AllStars gym in Stockholm, Sweden, and is 3-0 since exploding onto the scene in the UFC – has hit out at McGregor for his antics outside the octagon, including his attack on a man in a Dublin pub in 2019.
Wading into the latest McGregor versus Abdelaziz exchange, Chimaev assured his manager: “Don’t worry big brother, I’m going to smash this chicken for you.”
Don’t worry big brother I’m going to smash this chicken for you 👊🏽 https://t.co/YyEJfwUMmm
McGregor’s initial message has been taken by some as yet more campaigning for a rematch with Khabib, who choked him out in their Las Vegas grudge match back in 2018.
The unbeaten Russian retired following his victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi in October, citing a promise made to his mother following the tragic death of his father and trainer Abdulmanap in July.
UFC boss Dana White has said he will use the opportunity of a meeting with Khabib on Fight Island in January to try to persuade him to reverse his retirement decision and return for a crack at the fabled 30-0 mark, which he is one win away from.
However, White could have his work cut out twisting Khabib’s arm for a rematch with McGregor, whom the Dagestani grappling phenom has all-but ruled out facing the Irishman again.
Speaking in Moscow earlier in December, Khabib named the figure of $100 million for him to consider the notion of running it back with McGregor.
Elsewhere, the Russian’s friend and training partner Daniel Cormier has said ‘The Eagle’ would only be tempted by a fight with retired former two-weight UFC champion Georges St-Pierre.
But with White, McGregor, Khabib and Chimaev all set to arrive on Fight Island in January, there is a potentially explosive mix for fireworks on the sidelines.