Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor square off in New York. Picture: AP
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor square off in New York. Picture: AP

‘Child abuse’: McGregor clan’s Khabib smackdown

CONOR McGregor's dad has slung mud at Khabib Nurmagomedov's camp ahead of the pair's highly anticipated clash at UFC 229 in October.

Tony McGregor accused Nurmagomedov of disrespecting him during the Sept. 20 press conference, which was labelled the "darkest" in the promotion's history by UFC boss Dana White.

"He questioned my ability on fatherhood," Tony told ESPN's Ariel Helwani before bringing up Nurmagomedov's infamous bear fighting video.

"His own father forced him to fight animals. That's almost barbaric to me, it's the dark ages. What kind of father would force his son to fight bears, even if they've been de-clawed, in the 21st century that would almost constitute child abuse."

Tony said talk surrounding his son's inability to wrestle at Nurmagomedov's level would all be put to bed on Oct. 6 in Las Vegas.

"Excuse me for a moment while I yawn, honestly. This argument bores me. I've looked at this every which way. Even up until last night I was looking at Khabib's fights. He's slow, he's sloppy, he's predictable. There's nothing in Khabib's arsenal that Conor fears. Nothing!" Tony said.

"Conor's camp is possibly the most awesome camp to date. He's in peak physical condition. His power is unbelievable. Khabib is too slow. He won't see this coming. Conor's power, Conor's speed, Conor's precision - Khabib has nothing to counter that."

Conor started hyping his fight with Nurmagomedov in New York City at a press conference on Sept. 20 which was very fitting because Conor last fought in the UFC in November 2016 at Madison Square Garden and he threw a dolly through a bus window this past April in Brooklyn with Nurmagomedov his intended target.

Conor was arrested and was sentenced to perform five days of community service, avoiding jail time in a plea deal.

The commotion was one reason the UFC put the kibosh on the tradition of allowing fans at press conferences.

"I don't want any problems in New York today," White said.

Conor brought two UFC championship belts with him to the presser, though he holds no titles, and a bottle of his "Proper No. Twelve" whiskey.

McGregor and Nurmagomedov will meet on Oct. 6 in the main event of the UFC 229 pay-per-view show at T-Mobile Arena, the same spot where Floyd Mayweather stopped Conor in the 10th round of their one-sided prizefight.

Nurmagomedov (26-0) is a formidable challenger for McGregor in his return from a 23-month break in MMA competition, but he has never backed down from a challenge.

Conor was guaranteed to make $30 million last year in his ballyhooed boxing match against Mayweather, and White openly wondered if his star attraction would ever return to the cage.

White is now predicting at least 2.5 million pay-per-view buys for the most anticipated main event of the year.

McGregor loves the show as much as he loves a fight. He was over-the-top at times in the press conference, peppered his sentences with profanity, shouted over Nurmagomedov whenever he had an opening and carried on like the boisterous entertainer he is.

"I came back for the love of fighting and the love of war," McGregor said. "I'm going to truly, truly love putting a bad, bad beating on this little glass-jaw rat."