Khabib Nurmagomedov threatens to leave UFC, forfeit paycheck

Khabib Nurmagomedov beat Conor McGregor on Saturday night, and he’s not backing down from a showdown with the UFC either.

On his Instagram, Nurmagomedov posted a message directed at the UFC, a scattershot blast that included a defense of his teammate, a threat to leave the UFC, and a disregard of his still-unpaid $2 million purse from the fight.

Khabib sees a double standard

Nurmagomedov submitted McGregor in the fourth round of their UFC 229 title bout Saturday night. Almost immediately afterward, the arena erupted in a melee. Nurmagomedov leaped the Octagon fence and challenged members of McGregor’s team, while members of Khabib’s team came at McGregor. Now, there’s the possibility that the UFC could fire some of Nurmagomedov’s teammates, specifically Zubaira Tukhugov. To Nurmagomedov, that stinks of a double standard, particularly when considered in light of the McGregor-incited attack on a bus in Brooklyn earlier this year that carried Nurmagomedov and his team.

“Why didn’t you fire anyone when their team attacked the bus and injured a couple of people?” Nurmagomedov wrote. “They could have killed someone there, why no one says anything about insulting my homeland, religion, nation, family?”

He continued with a defense of his teammate. “If you think that I’ll keep silent then you are mistaken. You canceled Zubaira’s fight and you want to dismiss him just because he hit Conor. But don’t forget that it was Conor who had hit my another Brother FIRST, just check the video.”

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Moments from Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC match against Conor McGregor
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Moments from Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC match against Conor McGregor
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: (L-R) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia faces Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: Conor McGregor of Ireland warms up backstage during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: (R-L) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia reacts after submitting Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: Conor McGregor of Ireland walks out prior to facing Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: Conor McGregor of Ireland warms up backstage during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia looks across the Octagon at his opponent Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia speaks to referee Herb Dean as he controls the body Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: (R-L) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia controls the body of Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: (L-R) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia controls the body of Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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Threat to leave UFC and abandon money

Nurmagomedov then upped the ante by threatening to leave the UFC altogether:

“If you decide to fire him, you should know that you’ll lose me too,” he wrote. “We never give up on our brothers in Russia and I will go to the end for my Brother. If you still decide to fire him, don’t forget to send me my broken contract, otherwise I’ll break it myself.”

Finally, Nurmagomedov said that the UFC could keep his yet-unpaid $2 million purse from the fight: “And one more thing, you can keep my money that you are withholding. You are pretty busy with that, I hope it won’t get stuck in your throat. We have defended our honor and this is the most important thing. We intend to go to the end.” McGregor has gotten his check.

Clearly, the ripples from UFC 229 aren’t going away. Nurmagomedov is all in; the next move now belongs to the UFC.

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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