WEDNESDAY NEWS DIGEST 4/3: Conor McGregor goes after Khabib Nurmagomedov’s wife on Twitter, Artem Lobov and Paulie Malignaggi have scuffle ahead of Bare Knuckle Fighting event, more

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Taking the low road

Conor McGregor has continued his retirement habit of going after his enemies on Twitter. After Khabib Nurmagomedov called McGregor a “jealous wife” for walking away from UFC when he doesn’t get his way, McGregor responded with a quickly deleted tweet addressing Nurmagomedov’s marriage.

“Your wife is a towel, mate,” McGregor wrote in a tweet. The tweet was accompanied by pictures from Nurmagomedov’s wedding. His bride is covered by what appears to be a towel in the two pictures McGregor shared. Nurmagomedov is a devoted Muslim and Muslim custom often sees the bride’s face covered at her wedding.

McGregor soon deleted the tweet but not before it was widely shared and screenshots were taken (thanks to MMAJunkie).

With Conor bringing wives into the discussion, he leaves himself particularly vulnerable to retaliation in light of the recent sexual assault allegations he was interviewed for in Dublin last year. As of now, Nurmagomedov hasn’t responded, but the way this feud has gone, it’s only a matter of time before he fires back in one way or another.

Artem and Paulie nearly come to blows

Another of Conor McGregor’s ongoing feuds has been with boxer Paulie Malignaggi. The two have been at odds since they sparred together leading up to McGregor’s fight with Floyd Mayweather in 2017.

At a media day for this weekend’s Bare Knuckle FC event, McGregor’s friend and training partner Artem Lobov, who headlines the event against Jason Knight on Saturday, had to be separated from Malignaggi. Video of the altercation showed the two face to face and having words with each other until Malignaggi slapped Lobov in the face, and that is when things started to get out of hand.

BKFC has been hopeful of putting together a fight between Lobov and Malignaggi since Malignaggi signed with the promotion last month. With that in mind, the BKFC President David Feldman didn’t take much issue with the altercation.

“As a promoter, you want that kind of stuff to sell a fight. I didn’t want it here today,” Feldman told MMA Junkie. “I wanted it after Saturday, but it happened.”

The scuffle all but ensures that Lobov and Malignaggi are matched up for Malignaggi’s BKFC debut in June, and now the feud may overshadow Lobov’s fight with Jason Knight this weekend. Fortunately for Lobov, he’s in a great position where it almost doesn’t matter if he wins or loses on Saturday.

Wednesday Notebook

-Conor McGregor responded to the near-brawl between Artem Lobov and Paulie Malignaggi with a series of tweets containing photos of McGregor sparring with and supposedly getting the better of Malignaggi.

-Eddie Alvarez made a statement through his Instagram after his ONE FC loss to Timofey Nasyukhin on Sunday and included some photos of his busted up eye. “I am sincerely disappointed and confused in my inability to not pull the trigger and my hesitancy on recent fight nights, it’s been quite confusing to figure out the past year or so. Coach Mark always stresses “hesitancy is death” and it’s not something that is even in my character to do. In this particular fight, I waited too long for an opening and paid the ultimate price.”

-UFC Philadelphia on ESPN on Saturday headlined by Justin Gaethje vs. Edson Barboza averaged 828,000 viewers in the 7-10 PM ET time slot. That’s down from February’s 1.463 million viewers for Francis Ngannou vs. Cain Velasquez on ESPN.

-Scott Coker officially announced that Bellator will hold a featherweight grand prix tournament kicking off in October. The entire first round will take place on a DAZN card that month.

-Ricardo Lamas vs. Calvin Kattar is booked for UFC 238 on June 8 from Chicago.

In case you missed it

ROUNDTABLE: Is it fair for USADA to ban a fighter for life?

NEW PODCAST: MMA Scope with Cole Henry and Patrick Shaheen talking UFC Philadelphia, Ruslan Magomedov banned for life, and UFC as a public company

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