UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has sent a harrowing message to Conor McGregor.

The Irishman’s legal difficulties that seem to have dominated the MMA world this year concluded last week, with McGregor taking a plea deal that saw him avoid jail time and his visa remain unaffected.

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In addition, it is understood that ‘The Notorious’ will face no further sanctions from the UFC itself.

President Dana White had kept his cards close to his chest with his plan for McGregor, but with no impending punishment it seems as though the organisational brass is preparing to usher their poster-boy back into the octagon at the earliest feasible opportunity.

A clash with Nurmagomedov would see McGregor compete for one of his old titles, against a man he has engaged in an unforgiving grudge match with for the best part of a year.

Indeed, the Dubliner’s presence at UFC 223’s media day earlier this year was reportedly prompted by the Dagestani’s confrontation of McGregor’s teammate Artem Lobov.

The pair do not have many kind words for each other, and Nurmagomedov was the latest to fire missiles of the vocabulary.

Quoted in the Irish Mirror, the champ was speaking at UFC on Fox 30 in Calgary.

I can’t believe we’re going to fight, because I really want this guy,

[I want to] make him humble, a little bit teach him, and not only smash but change his face.

I want to change his face. Of course, with face I can change his mind, too.

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The Russian then offered a chilling premonition of how the fight would play out:

How can we fight after this fight when I change his face?

Even if I have a chance for a submission or choke, I’m going to keep punishing, talk with him, enjoy inside the cage. I can’t wait.

The 26-0 career MMA fighter does not have a fight scheduled, as rumours persist that a bout with McGregor will be announced in due course.