Khabib Nurmagomedov criticises Conor McGregor for speaking English and not Irish
Khabib Nurmagomedov has questioned Conor McGregor's patriotism.
McGregor proudly carries the Irish tricolour to each of his fights and has spoken recently about his heritage.
At the first UFC 229 pre-fight press conference, McGregor said: "My family, my bloodline, the McGregor clan. We stood, we fought. We fought the English empire, so much so that our name was banished for 100 years by King James."
'The Notorious' uttered some phrases in Irish - Ireland's native tongue which is taught to schoolchildren in Ireland but is not spoken in most households - at the press conference but his upcoming opponent doesn't understand why McGregor isn't a fluent Irish speaker.
Nurmagomedov, the defending UFC lightweight champion, has ridiculed the Irishman for speaking English and insisted that he struggles to even understand McGregor when he talks.
"I don't understand his language. He talks about fighting the English empire but if you fight the English empire then why do you speak the English language?" Nurmagomedov said in an interview with ESPN.
"Ireland have their own language. But he speaks in English and I don't understand his English. I know my English is not very good and my English is a little bit crazy but everybody understands my English.
"At the press conference, I understood 50 or 60% of what he was talking about but mostly no.
"To talk about my language; I know Russian, English and Arabic. I can speak a lot of languages.
"He speaks only one language and he talks about 'Oh, we fight with the English empire!' but what happened with your language?
"If you love your country, you have to speak your language. Do you just want to show up and say you're Irish and take the flag with you but you don't speak your language? You speak English."
It wouldn't be surprising to hear McGregor break out some insults in Irish when the pair of 155lbers take to the stage for the final press conference on Thursday.