Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed he could have 'killed' McGregor without referee Herb Dean stopping their fight back in 2018.
A rivalry has emerged between the pair after the nasty scenes at the end of the contest, where both teams exploded into chaos as the submission earned Khabib his biggest career victory, and he successfully defended his UFC lightweight world title in front of a huge pay-per-view audience.
McGregor struggle to deal with his superior grappling and ground game throughout the fight, with the Russian earning his stripes in the fight with a choke hold in the fourth round that left his opponent struggling to breathe, and left the experience official Dean no choice but to step in and halt proceedings.
And Nurmagomedov believes he could have 'killed' his opponent on the night, and was ready to do anything to get the victory labelling the stoppage as 'chicken'.
"You saw what happened. Remove Herb Dean and you yourself will understand whether I would have gone to the end or not," Khabib explained to RT.
"A person can die from such a [grip]. If I were to strangle you a little behind the scenes, you would understand what it is about.
"When a person strangles you and has been doing this for 30 years, this is a cold weapon. If there had been no referee, what could have happened?
"[Dean] removed my hands, he removed my grip. We… understand everything, we understand what could have been."
Nurmagomedov has found himself a target of a tirade of deleted tweets from his Irish rival in recent weeks, with most recently McGregor threatening to 'eat his children' before later deleting the post.
He was also 'forced to ignore' comments made on Twitter from McGregor aimed at his late father, who it had been revealed had offered his hand of forgiveness to McGregor after their rivalry.
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And the Russian former lightweight admitted he was there on fight night 'for business' letting his opponent do the 'pre-fight hype' ahead of their clash.
"Let everyone prepare the table – we will come, eat and that's it," he said.
"He fought [Donald] Cerrone and looked like a lion.
"He went out to fight the [best fighters] and looked like a frightened chicken. Top rivals show you what you are worth. The fight with Cerrone did not show his level."
McGregor fought Poirier last time out and has had feuds with the likes of UFC heavyweight Daniel Cormier, and most recently former middleweight champion Michael Bisping.
And his Russian rival has considered his recent actions 'dirty' and launched a scathing attack on the Irishman.
“If you’re normal human, you’re never going to talk about this stuff. For me, I think he post this tweet (while) drunk too much or (he was doing) something," Khabib said on Mike Tyson's Hotboxin' podcast.
Then the next day, he always delete these tweets. When he become normal life (he looks at his phone) and says, ‘Oh, look what I did.’ Then he delete. This is my opinion what he do all the time.
“When someone is not with us – he is not even alive – this shows what you have inside. This shows how dirty you are."
It was revealed recently that YouTube star Logan Paul nearly caused the pair to meet face-to-face for the first time since their clash, when he mixed up a restaurant reservation with a mutual friend.
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