CONOR McGREGOR called his ex-training partner Artem Lobov a “RAT” after being sued over sale of Proper No. Twelve whiskey.
The ex-UFC champion sold his controlling stake in the whiskey business, alongside two other shareholders, for a combined £500m last year.
Lobov, a long-time friend of McGregor’s, alleges he was the brains behind the Irishman’s popular drink.
The Russian has now opened court proceedings in Ireland claiming he is entitled to five per cent of the profits from the Proper 12 sale, according to the Irish Independent.
McGregor, 34, has now responded to the lawsuit for the first time in a short video posted on Twitter.
In the voice note, he sings: “Artem is a rat… Artem is a rat.”
Lobov, who is based in Ireland and now retired from fighting, previously claimed he turned down £840,000 from McGregor.
The Notorious will reportedly contest the lawsuit, which is likely to be worth several million pounds.
Lobov’s solicitor Dermot McNamara told the Irish Independent: “My client is a retired professional fighter with a master’s degree from DCU in Finance and Capital Markets.
“We have issued High Court proceedings on his behalf to enforce an agreement with Mr McGregor regarding the Proper No. Twelve whiskey brand.
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“My client was the initial creator and co-founder of the concept to launch an Irish whiskey brand associated with Mr McGregor.
“As these matters are now before the court, we will not be making any further comment.”
In response, McGregor’s spokesperson claimed suggestions Lobov had a claim to Proper No. Twelve were “incorrect”.
Karen Kessler also said: “Proper No. Twelve Irish whiskey was created, developed, branded and tirelessly promoted by Conor McGregor.”
Lobov, 36, previously told talkSPORT in the summer: “The selling point of my book will be the Proper No. Twelve Whiskey story.
“A few people know, but this was actually my idea. I was the person who came up with the idea to do a whiskey for Conor.”
Lobov alleges McGregor initially suggested establishing his own brand of vodka, before the Russian said an Irish whiskey brand would be a smarter idea.
Proper No. Twelve was launched in 2018 and made revenues of around £820million in its first year.
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