UFC 229 FARCE! Khabib Nurmagomedov apologizes for shocking mass brawl after McGregor fight
It was billed as the biggest fight in UFC history. While the match itself was quite enthralling, it is the aftermath that is making all the headlines.
What was billed as the biggest fight in UFC history descended into chaos after Khabib Nurmagomedov defended his UFC lightweight title against Conor McGregor via fourth-round submission at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. All hell broke loose after Nurmagomedov stood over and taunted a fallen McGregor after the fight stopped and referee Herb Dean restrained him.
The Russian fighter proceeded to run towards McGregor's corner to have words with the Irishman's team before then jumping over the octagon and seemingly attacking one of his team members. Nurmagomedov also got into a war of words with UFC President Dana White, who then chose to skip the traditional post-match interview and told the Russian, "If I put this belt on you, everybody's going to start throwing s**t into the Octagon."
And while Nurmagomedov was fending off punches from McGregor's teammate Dillon Danis outside the octagon, McGregor was attacked by members of Nurmagomedov's team, as well as a random fan, inside the cage. Police intervened to get the situation under control and restrained fans who had jumped the barricade, with McGregor then safely escorted back to his locker room.
It was later found that two of the men who attacked McGregor were indeed Nurmagomedov's teammates, Zubaira Tukhugov and Islam Makhachev. According to LADbible, the pair and random fan were arrested but later released after McGregor opted against pressing charges.
However, in light of the incident, both Tukhugov and Makhachev have both had their UFC dreams snuffed out —Tukhugov was all set to face McGregor's teammate Artem Lobov later this month and Makhachev was on the rise as well, having won all of his fights. But in an interview after the fight, White had said that "the guys who jumped in will never fight here again."
Because of the brawl, an investigation has been launched and Nurmagomedov's $2 million purse from the event has been withheld from him by the Nevada State Athletic Commision (NSAC). McGregor, however, was handed his prize money without delay.
White also made it apparent that the Russian fighter faces other penalties as well, including possibly stripping him of his hard-earned title. "There's a lot of repercussions for what they did tonight," the UFC president said. "We have to see what happens with the Nevada State Athletic Commission — not just the commission, there’s going to be fines, God knows what. Can these guys get visas and get back in the country? The biggest night ever and I couldn’t be more disappointed ... this is some street s**t going on here. This isn’t sport."
Nurmagomedov did appear in front of the media to apologize for his behavior, though he still took a cheap shot at his opponent in the process. "I want to say sorry … I know this is not my best side," the Russian said. "(But) he talk about my religion, he talk about my country, he talk about my father, he came to Brooklyn and he broke bus, he almost kill a couple of people."
The incident he's referring to dates back to April 5, just two days after Nurmagomedov slapped Lobov for comments he made about the Russian fighter on social media. McGregor showed up unannounced at UFC 223 in Brooklyn and attacked a bus filled with UFC fighters including Nurmagomedov by tossing a hand truck through the window. He injured three fighters, including Nurmagomedov, and narrowly avoided jail time by pleading guilty to felony assault charges and accepting a plea deal.
The Irishman finally broke his silence about the fight and the ensuing chaos almost five hours after the final bell had rung. He took to Twitter to post a brief but loaded tweet. "Good knock. Looking forward to the rematch," he wrote. He also posted a snap on Instagram with the caption, "I'll be back."
Considering his recent bout is expected to possibly double UFC's pay-per-view record of 1.65 million buys, a record set by McGregor's rematch with Nate Diaz in 2016, White may very well entertain the idea of another historical fight.
Watch the full video of the aftermath of the fight between McGregor and Nurmagomedov here:
צילום מתוך האולם של הקרב. וגם של הסיום של חביב-מקגרגור pic.twitter.com/7DtRWJK79m— Ram Gilboa (@RamGilboa) 7 October 2018