The Irish mixed martial arts star is training for his return to the Octagon after more than a year since his defeat to Khabib, with his lightweight title defeat at UFC 229 in October 2018 the last time he was seen in competition.
The 31-year-old will take on Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in his return to the sport at UFC 246 on 18 January, with a series of training videos being uploaded to his Instagram account to help build hype for his Las Vegas return.
But one particular story caught the eye on Wednesday when a picture of McGregor appeared to send a message towards Khabib, who he has already spoken about at length in regards to his desire for a rematch in the not-too-distant future.
Written across the top of the image was the message: “Little scurrying rat, I’m coming.”
McGregor’s story did not contain a specific mention towards Khabib, but his intentions were more than clear given his past comments.
Describing the post-fight brawl earlier in the year that took place in the immediate aftermath of his defeat against Khabib, McGregor said: “So what happened was, the fight was done, the match was done. (Khabib) climbed over the fence and jumped into the crowd to make a bit of noise, but as soon as he jumped into the crowd, he cowered away.
“I like to call it ‘scurried away’, because they’re little rats, they are. I’ll be honest. He scurried away.”
McGregor is unlikely to get his wish though unless he commits to a full-time UFC return. Speaking earlier this week, Khabib made his intentions to not give McGregor a rematch unequivocally clear due to the fact that he has not won a UFC bout since stopping Eddie Alvarez in November 2016, while also questioning the calibre of his next opponent in Cerrone.
“I think Cerrone has lost seven or eight of his last 10 fights and the other one (McGregor) is going into his fourth year with no victories,” Khabib said. “It’s like the minor leagues – it really doesn’t matter who wins there.
“I’m surprised that (UFC president) Dana White is saying that if Conor beats Cerrone and I beat Tony Ferguson that there will be a rematch. I decide who I fight next.
“To fight me he has to cut weight first, down to 70kg, and then win 10 fights in a row like I did, then we’ll think about a rematch.
“But for now he can fight second-rate fighters who lose seven out of 10 fights at 77kg, but to think he deserves the lightweight belt … well I’m champion so that won’t happen, don’t worry.”
Khabib will defend his lightweight belt in April against current No 1 contender Tony Ferguson, with White expressing his hope that the winner will fight McGregor before the end of the year.