Conor McGregor has responded to news of Khabib Nurmagomedov's much-anticipated return to the Octagon in typical Conor McGregor style.
UFC president Dana White confirmed the news most fight fans were expecting, when he announced that lightweight champion Khabib would be taking on interim champion Justin Gaethje on October 24.
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“That fight's going to happen,” White said about the upcoming UFC 255 showdown.
It's not clear at this stage where the fight will take place.
Veteran UFC caller Joe Rogan couldn't contain his excitement, sharing the news on Instagram with a tribute to the undefeated champion from Dagestan.
“It would be impossible for me to be more excited about this fight,” Rogan wrote.
“The return of the GOAT lightweight king, @khabib_nurmagomedov vs his most dangerous challenger, @justin_gaethje.
“I CAN’T F***ING WAIT.”
McGregor offers excuse for Khabib defeat
One man who less than thrilled by the announcement was McGregor, whose loss to Khabib at UFC 229 in 2018 has become the stuff of legend.
The spiteful bout kicked off a war of words that has raged on between the fighters ever since.
Although thoroughly outclassed by Khabib in the contest, McGregor has seemingly taken exception to Rogan's description of Gaethje being Khabib's "most dangerous opponent".
“Chill bro I’d a hangover,” the Irishman responded to Rogan's post.
Unsurprisingly, his excuse did not go down well with fans on social media.
"Chill bro I'd a hangover" says Conor McGregor in response to Joe Rogan calling Justin Gaethje the most dangerous opponent Khabib Nurmagomedov has yet faced.— Tallha Abdulrazaq س (@TalAbdulrazaq) July 29, 2020
The fact you were drinking on fight week shows how weak you are & even less deserving of victory against Khabib. Lowlife.
@TheNotoriousMMA ... is this guy serious?! Haha.. a hangover caused him to lose, if this is true why isnt the @ufc alll over him?? Ahhhh. thats right! Danas has a special place for him... Connor will give Trump a run for his money at lying.— Red Devil (@Onlyonefootball) July 29, 2020
Lmao no way Conor said he had a hangover when he fought Khabib 😭 @TheNotoriousMMA— dan (@TorontoInSix) July 29, 2020
Joe Rogan getting excited about Khabib vs Gaethje , and salty Conor had to tell him that he had a hangover when he fought Khabib 😂😂😂😂🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/CfYQiijVn9— Muhammad Khabib (@KhabibMuhammmad) July 29, 2020
Khabib fighting for first time since father’s death
Nurmagomedov’s upcoming bout will be the 31-year-old's first since last September when he defeated Dustin Poirier at UFC 242.
The win pushed Nurmagomedov’s record to 28-0-0. Gaethje, also 31, beat Tony Ferguson in the fifth round during his last fight in May. The win left Gaethje with a 22-2-0 record in the UFC.
The fight will also mark Khabib’s fight time in the Octagon since his father, Abdulmanap, passed away.
Abdulmanap, 57, died of coronavirus complications in July.
Deeply saddened to hear this news. My heart goes out to the ever-classy champion @TeamKhabib and his family. I’ll never forget that moment between father and son in the Octagon at UFC 242 last fall. 🙏🏼 https://t.co/ICDBq7C5zD— Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) July 3, 2020
White told CNN Abdulmanap’s death was “very hard on [Khabib].” Abdulmanap was also Khabib’s trainer.
Abdulmanap was initially hospitalised with suspected pneumonia in April, near his Dagestan home where Khabib has been living during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was transferred to Moscow in serious condition for further treatment.
The pneumonia led to a heart attack and he was placed in a coma, before sadly passing away.
with Yahoo Sports US