UFC legend Conor McGregor has threatened brain damage and predicted an early grave for his trilogy foe at UFC 264 on July 10, Dustin Poirier, and addressed rumors that he is suffering from a staph infection ahead of the fight.

Despite the momentum being with ‘The Diamond’ after he gained revenge on McGregor by inflicting the first knockout defeat of his career in January, the former champion remains more confident than ever of settling the rivalry for once and for all in Sin City a week on Saturday.

Taking to Twitter in typically combative style, McGregor warned: “Three fights against me for any man is an early grave.”

“God bless,” he added, alongside prayer hand emojis.

3 fights against me for any man is an early grave. God bless ?

Before that, though, McGregor had abused Poirier by responding to comments the Louisiana native had made to ESPN: “Best boxer, my ass. Shooting ass, shelling ass b*tch.

“How about the first one to get taken down is a dusty b*tch? This is mixed martial arts. Put it all together. It reeks of insecurity, to me.”

McGregor appeared to be blasting Poirier for the continuous calf kicks that earned him victory in their last meeting, seeking to take his rival to ground rather than engaging in the stand-up fight Mystic Mac sought.

Dustin Poirier responded to one of Conor McGregor’s tweets with a twist of his own ? #UFC264(via @bokamotoESPN)

After sharing a photo of a billboard to promote their upcoming settler, McGregor reiterated: “First one to shoot is a dusty b*tch”.

A commenter butted in by sharing a video of impressive work on the ground in McGregor’s 2013 unanimous decision win over Max Holloway, to which McGregor said: “What a guard pass to begin this video. Smooth like Kerry Gold”.

But he was then forced to directy answer rumors swirling around his health when a fan lamented: “Conor, please tell me you don’t have a staph infection.”

Is that staph I see.

No. Just vicious brain damaging elbows.

The whispers were triggered when a photo of McGregor riding his bicycle topless – a frequent occurence in his preparations for Poirier – showed him with bruising on his elbow.

Picked up from training on the mats, staph infections can make fighters weak when they enter the octagon, are highly contagious, and even halted the UFC debut of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s cousin, Umar, last October.

“No. Just vicious brain damaging elbows,” he replied to the fan, offering another chilling premonition for Poirier ahead of what is certain to be a bad-blooded brawl later this month.