In a series of since-deleted tweets, McGregor took aim at Dustin Poirier over the results of their UFC 264 encounter where he suffered a broken leg at the end of the first round. But McGregor also took a veiled swipe at Nurmagomedov for a separate message he sent after the Irish superstar lost his fight.
Following Poirier’s win, Nurmagomedov tweeted “good always defeats evil, very happy for Dustin Poirier,” and while it took McGregor some time to respond, he finally countered by saying “COVID is good and father is evil?”
McGregor’s message obviously referenced Nurmagomedov’s father Abdulmanap losing his life due to complications after contracting COVID-19 during the global pandemic. While McGregor deleted the tweet, Cormier already saw the damage done and he felt the need to reach out to Nurmagomedov over the situation.
“I get shock value and I get trying to get people to talk but way too far,” Cormier said on his ESPN show with co-host Ryan Clark. “To the point that I immediately called Khabib last night and said, ‘Are you OK?’ Asking him if he’s OK after having to see that, especially with no ability to do anything about it again. He spoke to my kids at my wrestling program the other day and said he was never happier than when he got to fight McGregor on the day. Because for so long, he wanted to get his hands on Conor and beat Conor up.
“Well, he can’t do that no more cause he’s not a prizefighter anymore. So now he just has to kind of swallow that. Way too far. Honestly, when Conor does stuff like that, it’s hard to understand how there’s still this mass amount of people that support that type of behavior.”
McGregor has received a lot of criticism in recent weeks for out-of-bounds trash talk that also involved insults aimed at Poirier’s wife Jolie both before and after UFC 264. Poirier previously blasted McGregor for making death threats against him and his family even as he laid on the octagon floor with a broken leg.
Cormier admitted he already had a problem with some of McGregor’s trash talk surrounding the Poirier fight, but referencing Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov following his death was just a bridge too far.
“After the fight with Dustin Poirier, a lot of people questioned whether or not Conor McGregor was reaching to try and get in the head of Dustin Poirier,” Cormier said. “Reach back to a time where he had trash talk that could affect people. It didn’t seem to work against Poirier. I feel like from him talking about Dustin’s wife to now Khabib’s father, he is just taking it way too far.
“When you’re dealing with death and COVID and all these other things that we’ve dealt with over the last year and a half, that’s all off limits. We talked about wives and families being off limits, but when you’re talking about a man’s everything — Khabib’s dad was his everything — and you’re talking about him being gone today due to something that has been so terrible for our entire world, you use that in a sense to get back?”
Perhaps the biggest issue that Cormier has with McGregor’s trash talk is that he’s not just doing it in the heat of the moment during a press conference or a media obligation.
Instead, McGregor is taking aim at Nurmagomedov and his father weeks later, which means many of these horrific messages had to be premeditated even if they were eventually deleted.
“You know what’s most disturbing? This wasn’t done the day after the fight or the same night of the fight,” Cormier explained. “This was done weeks after the fight, so it feels like it was thought of and it was thought through for Conor to tweet something like that.
“Absolutely crossed the line. I think when stuff like that is being said, it’s a cry for help. Conor has all the money in the world, he has all the fame, but now when you start to dig at that level, it’s like somebody needs to get to McGregor and help him to start to kind of re-shift his mind and his focus and get him back to a better place. It’s unfortunate.”