Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor locked horns at UFC 229 with the latter earning a fourth round submission win. The victory was followed by a brawl ignited by Nurmagomedov who managed to do something that seemed impossible, upstage Conor McGregor’s antics.
In a way Khabib Nurmagomedov outmaneuvered Conor McGregor by pushing the envelope even further than McGregor had six months prior at the Barclays Center. Nurmagomedov has never been one to shy away from a brawl, in fact three years ago at a World Series of Fighting event, Nick Diaz felt the need to toss a drink at a man who’s totally abstinent from alcohol. The bad blood extended onto the hotel lobby leading to the Diaz brothers being banned from attending any future WSOF events.
— Eyepokes&Headchokes 🎙 (@PokesAndChokes) October 8, 2018
This time around it looks like Nurmagomedov will be facing some repercussions. UFC President, Dana White unwilling to wrap the UFC lightweight title around his waist is symbolic in that the champion’s pay might not be the only thing being withheld from him when it’s all said and done. Despite all of the bad, Nurmagomedov managed to extended his undefeated record to 27-0. An accomplishment the 30-year-old bypassed celebrating in favor of leaping at a chirping adversary outside of the cage.
Dana White tells Khabib he's not putting the belt on him in the ring pic.twitter.com/RNfxoK5jDX
— Rob Lopez (@r0bato) October 7, 2018
In what seemed like a flash, the Dagestani native went from being the silent emotionless champion fighting for legacy to the emotionally unstable wild bull engaging in another scrap before Herb Dean could get the chance to raise his hand in victory. Fitting enough, the only thing McGregor and Nurmagomedov could agree on was that the end of their bout would not mark the end of their rivalry. We just didn’t expect it to continue immediately following the bout’s conclusion.
That overhand right hand is a neat little piece of fighting by Khabib. Totally fooled McGregor into thinking a takedown was coming. pic.twitter.com/oFYjP9rUA7
— JE Snowden (@JESnowden) October 7, 2018
Not only did Nurmagomedov manage to out-crazy McGregor, he shattered any questions regarding his ability to survive McGregor’s onslaught. The Sambo master put his chin to the test against the “Notorious” left hand on numerous occasions and passed with flying colors. Heck, Khabib possessed the most significant punch of the night when he delivered a staggering overhand right square on his counterpart’s jaw. He beat Conor in the power department as well as leaving no doubt who the better mixed martial artist was on the historic October night at the T-Mobile Arena.
Unfortunately for the time being, the sight of “The Eagle” taking flight off the outside of the cage will probably be replayed more than the moment he forced McGregor into submission. Soon this brawl will likely find itself replayed in promo packages for a potential rematch down the line. If UFC 229 did in fact reach 2 million pay-per-view buys, you can count on the UFC to try and capitalize on the grudge match by running it back.
When Conor threw a something at Khabib's team bus pic.twitter.com/FY9Qq8U5Oe
— ㅤ🇨🇩🇸🇱 (@6Flavs) October 7, 2018
While many expect Nurmagomedov to face suspension, a heavy fine and potential visa trouble, it’s worth noting that this is likely not the end of both men being involved in out-of-competition violence. One man already had his day in court for hurling a foreign object out of spite and the other didn’t think twice about defending his honor by means of violence immediately following 20 minutes of sanctioned combat. Even if people don’t find Nurmagomedov’s grappling style intimidating, you can bet they’ll think twice before they try and disrespect him lest they want a skirmish.