At UFC 229 on Saturday night, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor faced off, each of them looking to walk away as the UFC lightweight champion. In the fourth round, Nurmagomedov got McGregor with a choke, leading McGregor to tap, and landing Nurmagomedov his 27th MMA victory and keeping his undefeated record intact. However, that wasn’t the end to the fighting.
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During the build-up to the match, McGregor actively trash talked Nurmagomedov. While targeting a competitor’s fighting prowess in common in the weeks before an event, McGregor made things more personal, including making comments about Nurmagomedov’s family and religion.
After McGregor tapped in the fourth round of the fight, Nurmagomedov began yelling at his fallen competitor. Ultimately, officials had to step in and separate the pair.
Then, according to a report by SB Nation, Nurmagomedov focused his attention on a member of McGregor’s team.
— ʜᴇᴇʟ ʙʏ ɴᴀᴛᴜʀᴇ (@HeelByNatureYT) October 7, 2018
Nurmagomedov tossed his mouthguard toward McGregor’s teammates, obviously angry. Then, he climbed out of the cage and headed straight toward Dillon Danis, a fellow fighter and friend of McGregor’s.
At that point, a near riot ensued. Even as security was attempting to control the event, McGregor tried to hop the fence and head after Nurmagomedov, only to be restrained by officials.
But Nurmagomedov’s teammates were also rushing into the ring and, as one headed over to the fence near McGregor, McGregor punched him.
After ending up back inside the ring, McGregor came face to face with one of Nurmagomedov’s teammates who began striking the former champ with a flurry of blows. Another took a shot at McGregor with a hook, landing it directly on McGregor’s face.
Khabib: "He talked about my religion, he talked about my country, he talked about my father."pic.twitter.com/sNeU974I3T
— SB Nation (@SBNation) October 7, 2018
While Nurmagomedov was officially announced as the winner, confirming that he retained his title as the champion of the lightweight division, Dana White chose not to actually present the belt in the ring.
During a later interview, White asserted that the decision was based on the safety of Nurmagomedov and members of the audience, as he feared wrapping the belt around Nurmagomedov’s waste would lead to those in attendance hurling bottles and other items toward the ring, or potentially worse.
White outlined a bit of what happened during the unexpected brawl, confirming that three people from Nurmagomedov’s team were arrested after the incident.
— ESPN (@espn) October 7, 2018
Ultimately, the three men weren’t held as McGregor chose not to press charges.