McGregor was defeated by fourth-round submission by Nurmagomedov in the culmination of their fractious feud two years ago but ahead of the latest defence of his 155lbs title on ‘Fight Island’ this weekend against Justin Gaethje, the Irishman has broken down some of the sequences from their fight in several social media posts this week – the latest of which shows McGregor highlighting a swift knee he delivered to Nurmagomedov while fighting off the champion’s furious ground attack.
The knee strike – which landed to Nurmagomedov’s head – violates the unified rules of mixed martial arts which states that a knee or a kick cannot be attempted against a ‘downed opponent’ – rules which McGregor appears to be unconcerned with.
“The knee into the eye socket was illegal yes, from this position. A beauty tho. Never before seen shot. Like many of my shots,” McGregor wrote alongside video of the incident.
“I use the mount defence leg as a spring board, loading the knee below it. Release and straight to the eye socket. Smashed it in!
“This strike should not be illegal. Should actually be enshrined! Look at him cower his head after it and keep it tucked. Kept honest! Guy is latched onto my arm not letting go. Everything bar biting and gouging should be permitted here. Are we fighting or what are we doing here?”
McGregor then tags famed MMA referee and current Bellator commentator ‘Big’ John McCarthy, the author of many of the current rules in the sport, and asks if the strike should be legalized, later referring to himself as “Mr. Tasty Shots.”
McGregor highlighting the incident comes amid renewed speculation that potentially highly-lucrative rematch between the two UFC superstars could be arranged should Nurmagomedov be victorious against Gaethje at UFC 254 this weekend, and if McGregor does the same in his proposed January bout with former foe Dustin Poirier.
However, both Khabib and his manager, Ali Abdelaziz, have suggested that they will not consider McGregor for a second shot at Nurmagomedov’s world title given the heated nature of their first fight. That stance could become increasingly harder to defend should both Nurmagomedov and McGregor win their next fights.
For now, though, McGregor appears content to take small measures of victory on social media from various clips of the time he shared the cage with the Russian champion – and if McGregor is potentially winning the social media battle between the two, Khabib can be content that he definitively won the war.