The war between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor might never end.

Nurmagomedov defeated McGregor at UFC 229 last October after a heated buildup that became very personal. The head-to-head showdown hardly marked the end of the fighters’ rivalry, though, as Nurmagomedov jumped over the cage and attacked McGregor’s camp immediately following the bout.

It’s been almost a year since the chaos at T-Mobile Arena, but both fighters continue to plant seeds for a potential rematch. Nurmagomedov, for instance, took a subtle jab at McGregor this week while meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the head of Dagestan, Vladimir Vasiliev, in wake of successfully defending his UFC lightweight championship against Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 on Saturday.

“Yes, the opponent was strong and respectable. This time around I fought against a person who respected me,” Nurmagomedov told Putin in response to congratulatory praise from the Russian president, according to RT Sport.

Putin is familiar with McGregor, having met The Notorious in 2018 during the World Cup final in Moscow. He also met with Nurmagomedov following UFC 229, so this week’s interaction wasn’t the first of its kind.

It remains to be seen whether Nurmagomedov and McGregor someday will share the octagon again. McGregor hasn’t fought since losing to Nurmagomedov — and seems to have other issues on his plate — but a rematch undoubtedly would make a ton of money for UFC.

Thumbnail photo via Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports Images