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- Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s escalating rivalry could lead to someone getting "hurt or shot," a UFC fighter says.
- Kelvin Gastelum, one of the UFC’s top middleweights, has said there are "lines that shouldn’t be crossed" and that includes talking about someone’s family or religion.
- McGregor had previously called Nurmagomedov’s wife "a towel" and a "goat."
- Nurmagomedov called McGregor a "rapist."
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Gastelum is a black belt with 10th Planet Jiujitsu, the winner from The Ultimate Fighter 17 show, and in his nine-year MMA career so far has avoided the controversy associated with lightweight fighters McGregor and Nurmagomedov, who engaged in an "unacceptable" social media feud this week.
For Gastelum, a 27-year-old middleweight, there are "lines that shouldn’t be crossed" and he fears someone could get "hurt or shot" should the world’s most notorious combat sports rivalry worsen.
"I just think that there is [sic] some lines that shouldn’t be crossed, and this rivalry going on right now is escalating to a point where it shouldn’t have to," Gastelum told MMA Fighting.
"And I feel like if it keeps escalating the way it is, somebody’s going to end up getting hurt or shot or something. I truly believe that."
Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
McGregor, in a since deleted tweet, posted a photograph of Nurmagomedov and his wife, calling her "a towel." In a later tweet, which was later removed from the platform, he said there was "a goat" under the towel.
Gastelum said: "You shouldn’t mess with people’s wives. You shouldn’t mess with people’s family or religion."
The UFC boss Dana White has already attempted to calm the war of words, and said the UFC is taking action against both athletes.
As for Gastelum, he takes on the unbeaten kickboxer Israel Adesanya in the co-main event at UFC 236 on April 14, after back-to-back victories over Michael Bisping and Ronaldo Souza in recent years.
Should he make it three wins on the spin, he’ll likely be thrust back into a title fight against UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker, a fighter he was slated to challenge at UFC 234 earlier in the year. Whittaker, though, withdrew from the event because of a late hernia injury.
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- Conor McGregor appeared to announce his return to the Octagon and said he wanted to ‘move forward’ after his ‘Islamophobic’ tweet
- Conor McGregor called Khabib Nurmagomedov’s wife a ‘towel’ in a now-deleted photo tweet, and Nurmagomedov’s manager responded by calling the Irishman a ‘rapist’