MMA superstar Conor McGregor has apparently denied his infamous “it’s only business” line muttered to champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in their UFC lightweight title bout, apparently suggesting he said “don’t be bitching”.
McGregor was admonished by a portion of the combat sports world when cameras picked up the alleged quote at the end of the third round in their headline bout at UFC 229 in October, in response to Khabib goading the Irishman by shouting “talk now” in reference to the latter’s pre-fight trash talking.
Dagestan native Khabib even posted to social media making fun of McGrgeor’s words after defending his crown against the former champion by submitting him by neck crank in the round following the exchange.
However, in an Instagram post directed at former sparring partner and ex-world boxing champ Paulie Malignaggi on Saturday, McGregor seemed to hint that he told his Russian opponent “don’t be bitching” in an effort to stop him complaining to the referee for perceived fouls from McGregor, with footage of his using the same phrase to Malignaggi during their confrontation in 2017.
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“Don’t be a bitch, bitching. The same thing I said to khabib at the end of round 3. My round,” McGregor wrote. “Don’t be bitching! Every single round bitching to the referee. He was even bitching in the fourth round from mount position. It baffled me.
“If anyone should have been saying anything to the referee, it should have been me in that 1st round. That round he held onto my legs for four minutes straight. With zero activity. But a fight is a fight who gives a fuck. Crying to the referee like a proper bitch. I was trying to dig my fingers into his Adams Apple.”
The MMA world however has been somewhat sceptical of McGregor’s explanation, posing the question as to why it has taken three months since the fight took place to formulate such an excuse, and exactly why he would need video evidence as proof.
McGregor made the post to clarify rumors he could meet hated rival and former training partner Paulie Malignaggi in a boxing match, to which the Sicilian-American fighter replied by calling ‘The Notorious’ a “cokehead lush” with “no balls”.
Khabib nevertheless responded with his own post on Instagram of the moment he submitted McGregor with the caption “You will live with this shame all your life, bi…”, stopping short of using the full expletive but leaving a heavy hint as to who he considered to be the real ‘bitch’ in the matter.