Khamzat Chimaev has previously clashed with the Irishman but shared a far more friendly image on social media
UFC star Khamzat Chimaev has baffled MMA fans by posting a photo of himself and former champion Conor McGregor in the guise of Marvel superhero Spider-Man.
The pair have history given the Swedish-based Chechen brawler tweeted "Let's make big drama show" to McGregor back in November of last year, one of several call-outs after previously vowing to "smash" the former two-division king.
The Irishman has mocked 10-0 welterweight title hopeful Chimaev by referring to him as "rat lip," but has lately struck a more far more conciliatory tone.
McGregor claimed that the Chechen-born star had offered to help him get the better of arch enemy Khabib Nurmagomedov as a sparring partner in the build-up to their 2018 megafight.
"Chechnya knows! F**k those eagles MMA pu**ies, we are Akhmat MMA! Smash them up we will! Let's go! The Mac and Akhmat! We take no s**t! Never peace," McGregor had tweeted in response to Chimaev's somewhat civilized callout.
A couple of months later, Chimaev has confused fans further and suggested that the pair are in fact allies by posting a bizarre photo of them embracing and laughing as a duo of Spider-Men.
While McGregor's worshippers approved, others who aren't keen on 'The Notorious' or are more sympathetic towards Khabib clearly didn't.
"Why is Khamzat twerking for the guy who called him 'rat lip'?" someone asked.
"This ain't it, brother," he was told.
"Is this your subtle way of telling us that you're going to assault bystanders, hit old men, and harass women, while being a worse fighter every day that passes?" in reference to McGregor's legal troubles and dip in form after embarking on a 1-2 record since being stopped by Khabib.
"The other day you were saying you were going after him for what he said about your religion, but they didn't let you in the airport. Now you want to be [buddies] with him, wonder what changes," a separate party pondered.
Indeed, Chimaev has previously claimed that he attempted to travel to Conor McGregor's homeland and confront him for insulting Khabib and "talking about [UFC featherweight] Zubaira [Tukhugov]".
"At that time, nobody knew who I was," Chimaev explained to a Russian reporter.
"He was also talking about another guy who's also Chechen. I don't remember his name, but he told us he knocked him out in a sparring session.
"My mind was blowing up at the moment, but I'm living here very close to him. I was thinking that I would catch him in the streets or at the gym and beat him up. This is what he deserved."
"I landed in Ireland and waited in an airport," Chimaev went on. "First, they stopped me a while, and then slightly [after] they told me to go. Then I was going out.
"When I was going out from the airport, they stopped me again. That time there were guys literally in uniform. Yes, there were [special forces], and they told me, 'You cannot go anywhere'.
"But I didn't get what they meant. At that time, my English was very bad. Even right now, it's not that good. They drove me to the police station and kept me for eight hours," Chimaev finished.
Elsewhere in the UFC, former flyweight and bantamweight dominator Henry Cejudo caught McGregor's attention for dropping his name into a back and forth with president Dana White.
Attempting to be crowned in an unprecedented third weight class, the ex-Olympic gold medalist has had cold water poured on his plans to challenge featherweight top dog Alexander Volkanovski.
"Isn't that guy retired?" White asked when probed on the matter at his post-UFC Fight Night press conference in Las Vegas at the weekend.
"He's retired, isn't he? I mean, the last time I saw, he was retired, and now he's mad that he didn't get a title shot? It doesn't even make sense.
"In a different weight class? It doesn't make sense," White protested. "If he wants to come back and try to win the title again in his weight class, and then talk about moving up or doing something else," White suggested.
"But you don't just f*cking pop up and start calling somebody names and think that you're going to get a title shot in a different weight class when you've been retired for, what, two, two-and-a-half years?"
"Dana, I needed a break," Cejudo replied on Twitter. "Honestly, it was getting boring beating up TJ Dillashaw in under a minute and Dominick Snooze [Cruz] in two.
"I got married, had a kid and am now rejuvenated. I wanna be 4C [a four-time champion]. If I beat up an old guy at a bar and learn how to Riverdance will you give me a shot?" he asked in a dig at McGregor's heritage and past antics, while also calling him a 'Double Chump' to his 'Double Champ' on the social media platform.
"Henry Cejuda [sic] is a little fart," McGregor clapped back in a now-deleted tweet, which caused the Mexican-descent fighter to retort: "What do you know about farting? You always run out of gas," in relation to McGregor's poorly-perceived cardio.
After his and Khabib's manager Ali Abdelaziz chimed in by saying McGregor wasn't qualified to shine Cejudo's shoes and has a "chicken heart", Cejudo quote tweeted and quipped: "He wouldn't even finish shining my size 5 1/2 shoe because he would gas out."