Conor McGregor Seemingly Ends Retirement After Calling Rival's Muslim Wife Ethnic Slur in Tweet

McGregor took aim at rival Khabib Nurmagomedov, and his wife, in a series of tweets on Wednesday

Photo: Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Just days after announcing his retirement, Conor McGregor may be returning to the octagon after all.

McGregor — who announced his retirement from mixed martial arts on March 25 — sent out a series of tweets toward rival Khabib Nurmagomedov on Tuesday that attacked the fighter’s Muslim faith.

In one of the posts, McGregor included a picture of Nurmagomedov on his wedding day seated next to his wife, whose face was fully covered in traditional garb. The 30-year-old fighter, who has been scrutinized for his rhetoric in the past, called Nurmagomedov’s wife “a towel” — which is considered an ethnic slur — and deleted the tweet. Screenshots of the messages, including the slur, were posted to Yahoo Sports.

Nurmagomedov — who is Russian and a devout Sunni Muslim, according to the Washington Post — responded with a tweet of his own that referenced the former UFC champion allegedly being investigated for a sexual assault that occurred in Ireland last year. Authorities in the country have questioned McGregor, but he was released and has not been charged, according to the New York Times.

“You are a hypocrite who is not responsible for your actions,” read Nurmagomedov’s response, in part. “Justice will find you.”

The next day, McGregor stoked the flames once again by calling Nurmagomedov’s wife a “goat” in a tweet that he, once again, quickly deleted.


But on Wednesday night, McGregor seemed to strike a regretful tone in a message on social media that stated he wanted to “move forward,” after he was heavily criticized by fans for the previous comments.

“I want to move forward, with my fans of all faiths and all backgrounds,” McGregor wrote in the tweet. “All faiths challenge us to be our best selves. It is one world and one for all.”

Then he added, “Now see you in the octagon.”

McGregor’s rep did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

If McGregor returns to the UFC, it would put an end to his second retirement in three years — he previously told the world he was retiring via Twitter in April 2016, then fought again several months later at UFC 202.

McGregor and Nurmagomedov have an extensive — and heated — history. The two were at the center of controversy last year when McGregor flew from Ireland to New York to confront the fighter in the parking garage of Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which resulted in viral video of McGregor smashing the windows out of a bus. He would later surrender to the New York City Police Department.

The two fighters then faced off at UFC 229 in a highly-anticipated match that ended with a post-fight brawl that saw Nurmagomedov hop over the cage to attack one of McGregor’s teammates. During the skirmish, two other men entered the ring and punched McGregor. Nurmagomedov beat McGregor in a fourth-round submission to win the lightweight title.

Conor McGregor Charged With Assault
Raymond Hall/GC Images

McGregor most recently made headlines in March when he was arrested in Miami Beach after he allegedly damaged, then stole the phone of a fan attempting to take a photo with him. He was charged with strong-arm robbery and criminal mischief after the incident at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

“Last evening, Conor McGregor was involved in a minor altercation involving a cell phone that resulted in a call to law enforcement,” McGregor’s defense attorney, Sam Rabin, told ESPN. “Mr. McGregor appreciates the response of law enforcement and pledges his full cooperation.”

He is scheduled to be arraigned on April 10.

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