Tony Ferguson isn’t known for backstabbing – “El Cucuy” wields “Bill The Butcher’s” knife with great gusto – in your face – and then twist. “What’ll it be then. Rib or chop. Loin or shank.” Khabib Nurmagomedov!

Jokes aside, the flames have been stoked – the heat is on! First he calls him a stalker, and now the streaking 9-0 Ferguson is intimating “The Eagle” is a bully.

Not only that, he’s vaticinating the Dagestani’s demise via quit when they clash in the co-main event at UFC 209 for the lightweight interim title.

This latest swipe is sure to get rec’d by team Ferguson.

Per BloodyElbow:

“I want to make him quit,” Ferguson told John Morgan of MMA Junkie at a recent media scrum in Las Vegas. “I want to push and grind him so hard that I have to look at him and tell him, ‘Are you done? Have you had enough? Because I’m tired.’”

“He needs to be brought down, man,” Ferguson said. “And I’m the guy he’s trying to bully, and I’m standing up for all those dudes out there. All you guys out there that ever got bullied, I’m the guy that’s going to help you guys. We’re going to take this bully out.”

To date, there’s been no verified source suggesting Nurmagomedov has ever been the perpetrator of bullying, so, Ferguson’s claim carries no weight.

Or maybe he was alluding to the mauling the 28-year-old gave Michael “The Menace” Johnson at UFC 205 – that was sinister stuff (watch it here), albeit with the best possible intentions (read what Nurmagomedov said to Johnson here), but bulling? Never.

Furthermore, Ferguson presaging he’ll make the AKA fighter quit, at best is a hard sell, and no one’s buying it. “The Eagle” has never quit in his pro MMA career – a testament to his undefeated 24-0 ledger.

Nurmagomedov is no saint in this war of words either – he’s a Russian sniper (take a peek at who’s the target on his telescopic sight – here and here).

With under six weeks to go before their projected match-up, expect the back-and-forth digs to reach fever pitch, thusly leading to a barnburner of a fight.

Who fires the next shot?