Kylie Jenner did NOT want to come face-to-face with Nicki Minaj at the VMAs, 'cause she completely changed course on the red carpet to avoid her.

Nicki was making her entrance at Radio City Music Hall Monday night, and Kylie was walking in her direction from the other end ... when she stopped in her tracks upon seeing Nicki. It's pretty clear she didn't want a confrontation -- 'cause she doubled back fast.

Can't blame her. Nicki put Kylie and her baby, Stormi, on blast this weekend ... blaming them for unscrupulously boosting Travis Scott's album sales by promoting his merch. She later went on to call Travis a "hoe n**** of the week" on her Apple Music radio show.

SHAAAADE!
Queen Radio

VMA producers had already accommodated Travis and Kylie by seating them far away from Nicki after placing them right behind her at first in a seating arrangement.

Looks like you can't avoid running into your problems sometimes -- but you can always run away from them. Kylie definitely didn't want that smoke.