Conor McGregor, after a long hiatus following his boxing defeat at the hands of Floyd Mayweather during the fall of 2017, made a comeback facing opponent Khabib Nurmagomedov for UFC 229 on Oct. 7 in Las Vegas.
McGregor has had a rough couple of months, after being arrested by the New York Police Department in April for an attack on a bus that was carrying rival UFC fighters.
There was bad blood between reigning and defending UFC lightweight champion Nurmagomedov and McGregor, as McGregor had previously called him ‘backwards’ because of his refusal to share whiskey with him, as it is against Nurmagomedov’s religious beliefs.
As Nurmagomedov stepped into the octagon, security continually blocked McGregor from pacing any further than the center so as to prevent any pre-fight bad blood before the fight officially started.
The fighters refused to touch gloves before the initial round.
McGregor threw the first significant shot, a kick aimed at head height, but Nurmagomedov was able to redirect the fight to the mat, wrapping his legs around McGregor amid boos from the crowd.
McGregor was left with minimal harm done, but the round was won by Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov started the second round off strong, catching McGregor with a powerful right hand to the jaw. He then lifted McGregor off the ground and took him back to the mat, holding McGregor against the fence.
McGregor could do nothing but play defense as Nurmagomedov hammered his fists into his face, nose and chin. Nurmagomedov didn’t hold back, even trash talking McGregor while he was down.
McGregor had a successful third round, but was unable to carry the momentum into the fourth round, during which Nurmagomedov took him back to the mat and landed continuous barrages of punches onto his face. After finally wearing McGregor down, Nurmagomedov forced him in a tight neck crank, causing McGregor to concede the fight by tapping out.
Nurmagomedov, unsatisfied with just the victory of McGregor, ruined the win for himself after he incited a post-fight brawl. After forcing McGregor to tap, Nurmagomedov mounted the fence and left the cage completely, and appeared to charge at McGregor’s friend and fellow fighter Dillon Danis. Pandemonium broke out, and many in the UFC have criticized his actions.
Nurmagomedov was not the only one involved in the fight, as his teammate Zubaira Tukhugov allegedly jumped into the octagon and punched and kicked McGregor while Nurmagomedov was preoccupied with Danis.
This has led to UFC President Dana White claiming that Tukhugov would be banned for his actions.
White also refused to give Nurmagomedov his championship title, and Nurmagomedov left the arena amid an angry crowd which had started throwing things.
Dana White commented on the immature actions of Nurmagomedov in an interview with ESPN, saying: “[I’ve] been doing this for 18 years, and [on] the biggest night ever, I couldn’t be more disappointed.”
Nurmagomedov’s winnings have been withheld by the Nevada Athletic Commission, and an investigation will be carried out.
McGregor has not pressed charges but has stated that he anticipates another meeting with the Russian. He took to Twitter after the fight, tweeting “Good knock. Looking forward to the rematch”.
Both Nurmagomedov and McGregor have been suspended from further fights by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). The NSAC will meet again on Oct. 24 to discuss the potential of further penalties, and the permanent withholding of Nurmagomedov’s winnings.