"Khabib scurried out of the U.S. to home, and amid the crisis," McGregor said.
Well, that didn't sit well with Ali ... who WENT OFF on Conor to TMZ Sports.
"You’re telling everybody to stay home, now Khabib -- the government of Russia says he can’t travel, you’re going to call him a chicken?! [Conor] doesn’t matter."
He continued, "[Conor is not] #1, he’s not #2, he’s not #3. It’s Khabib, Justin, Tony. [Conor is] #4. He’s not even in the conversation right now. He’s just like a jealous prostitute, she’s got too old for her to make money."
Ali also issued this message to McGregor -- "Why don’t you even jump on a plane and come fight Tony Ferguson? I bet he understands that Tony Ferguson would beat his ass too. All those 3 guys would beat his ass. Justin, Tony and Khabib.”
There's more ... Ali also reps Justin Gaethje, who will be fighting Tony Ferguson instead of Khabib at UFC 249 and he told us how that deal came together "within an hour."
As for fighter safety, Ali says Justin and Tony -- and everyone involved UFC 249 -- is in good hands with the UFC.
"UFC for the last 20 years they set a standard about testing medical procedures. There’s never been a death or a serious injury to happen in the UFC."
"I have no doubt in my mind they are going to take every precaution to make sure everyone’s safe."