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Artem Lobov On Why The Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov Feud Started

October 23, 2018 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Artem Lobov

In an interview with ESPN (via MMA Junkie), Artem Lobov spoke about why Khabib Nurmagomedov calling Conor McGregor a chicken led to their eventual personal feud and the fight at UFC 229.

On Khabib’s use of the word chicken: “It might not sound very serious to you guys, but just so you know, ‘chicken’ is one of the biggest insults you can give a man in Russia. In fact, if you call someone a chicken in Russia, that is a person that gets raped in prison – in male prison. That’s what a chicken is in Russia. And Khabib knows that, and everybody knows that. It is a very, very, severe insult.”

On how he responded: “Of course, me knowing the severity of this insult, I had to respond in a hard way. And I think anybody would’ve done the same. If I didn’t do that, then what kind of friend am I? You know what I mean? Of course, my response was pretty harsh, but I spoke facts. I talked about Khabib himself pulling out of fights all the time and the fact that Conor has never pulled out. And I said how could he call him a chicken when he’s the one pulling out all the time but Conor has never pulled out? Look, it was a harsh response, but given the situation, I thought it was an appropriate response. And I didn’t see how I could not respond that way. And to be honest, if I was asked 100 times in the same interview the same question, my response would’ve been the same, even knowing what has happened since then.”

On the UFC 223 bus attack: “I’m kind of taken aback by all of this. He kept asking me the same thing: ‘Why did you say that?’ And I kept repeating the same thing. I said, ‘Look, you called my brother a chicken. How could I not respond to you? If someone called your brother a chicken, you probably would’ve responded the same way.’ And he just kept saying, ‘None of your business. Why did you call me that?’ Over and over again. And I explained to him, ‘Look, I didn’t say that to you directly. I said that in response to you calling him a chicken.’ And that was it. That’s how that all happened.”

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Artem Lobov, Joseph Lee