Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, two of the fiercest rivals in MMA history, nearly crossed paths on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
See the pair’s near encounter, as captured by Dan Hardy’s Full Reptile, below:
As you can see, the pair nearly crossed paths as McGregor arrived at the UFC 257 fighter hotel. Nurmagomedov happened to walk through the lobby mere moments later.
Conor McGregor is in Abu Dhabi for a lightweight fight with Dustin Poirier, which will headline the UFC 257 card this Saturday. The bout will be a rematch of a 2014 featherweight fight, which McGregor won by first-round knockout.
Khabib Nurmagomedov, on the other hand, flew to Abu Dhabi for a recent meeting with UFC President. The purpose of the meeting was to determine if Nurmagomedov, still technically the lightweight champion despite retiring after an October win over Justin Gaethje, would be willing to return to the cage for one last fight.
After that meeting, White announced that Nurmagomedov would be open to the idea of another fight if any of the four lightweights on the UFC 257 bill—McGregor, Poirier, Michael Chandler and Dan Hooker—put forth an impressive enough to performance to convince him it’s the right move.
Nurmagomedov and McGregor have fought once before, in 2018. The bout topped the UFC 229 event, the most lucrative pay-per-view in the promotion’s history. Nurmagomedov won that title by fourth-round submission, defending the lightweight belt in the process. After the fight was waved off, Nurmagomedov leaped over the side of the cage and attacked long-time McGregor stablemate Dillon Danis, sparking a massive brawl between the pair’s teams.
In the years since that fight, Nurmagomedov and McGregor have swapped plenty of back-and-forth trash talk in interviews and on social media. Needless to say, there’s seemingly still plenty of lingering animosity between them, so things could have gotten interesting if they’d come face-to-face.