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Khabib Nurmagomedov warns Conor McGregor that he’ll ‘have to play like a grown up man’ now

The newly minted UFC lightweight title holder is keeping the pressure on former double champ Conor McGregor, with an eye toward a future title bout between them.

Conor McGregor Is Arrainged In Brooklyn Criminal Court Photo by Mary Altaffer-Pool/Getty Images

Can Khabib Nurmagomedov really goad Conor McGregor into fighting him for the lightweight title? That appears to be the Dagestani’s hope.

Nurmagomedov recently defeated Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 to claim ownership of McGregor’s freshly stripped championship belt. The fight was Nurmagomedov’s first main event opportunity in the UFC. And while he used it to his best advantage, the story of the day largely still revolved around McGregor.

The Irishman made headlines across the US and UK when he showed up during fight week for the event, spurred apparently by a desire to wreak revenge on Khabib and his team for threatening longtime McGregor friend and training partner Artem Lobov. A dolly was thrown, a window was broken, multiple people were injured.

And while McGregor and Nurmagomedov didn’t get the chance to throw down during the fracas, the ‘Eagle’ took to Instagram recently to warn McGregor that the next time they meet, it will be on much more personal terms.

“When you see him, tell him:” Khabib wrote on the social media platform. “Conor the game has changed, now you have to play like a grown up man, there will no longer be locked buses with security inside and outside, now you have to solve these problems alone, and if you do not want it, just say so, everybody will understand.”

Khabib reiterated his ‘anywhere, anytime’ invitation to the fight with a “#sendmelocation.”

At the moment, McGregor’s next battle is with the New York courts. He’s due to appear before the judge on June 14th to face the fallout for his actions back in April. After that, there have been signs that the McGregor camp is interested in challenging Nurmagomedov. But, as with all big fights in the UFC these days, until both men step in the Octagon, nothing is certain.