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Khabib Nurmagomedov has message for Conor McGregor: ‘The game has changed’

Khabib Nurmagomedov wants to fight Tony Ferguson on Dec. 30 at UFC 219.
Khabib Nurmagomedov
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Khabib Nurmagomedov is tired of waiting around for Conor McGregor.

A clash between the UFC stars has been one of the most talked about potential matchups at 155 pounds, but the two have yet to be able to get on the same page with Nurmagomedov’s seemingly endless (and unfulfilled) feud with Tony Ferguson and McGregor pursuing opportunities in the boxing world and dealing with legal issues.

The closest the two came to a physical altercation was at a UFC 223 media day event in April. McGregor shocked everyone by showing up to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with a gang to cause a ruckus, culminating in him hurling a dolly at a bus that was transporting Nurmagomedov and several other fighters. The dolly shattered a window and the flying glass injured Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg.

McGregor is now currently facing charges of assault and criminal mischief.

Nurmagomedov would go on to defeat Al Iaquinta in the main event of UFC 223 to capture a vacant lightweight championship — the same title that McGregor won from Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205, but never defended — and now the undefeated Russian appears to have more leverage than ever.

That’s certainly the attitude Nurmagomedov expressed in an Instagram post he directed at McGregor on Saturday:

“Conor, the game has changed,” Nurmagomedov wrote. “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.”

Nurmagomedov does not have his first title defense scheduled yet, though he is targeting a return to action in November or December.