One of the most brutal and unfortunate fights in UFC history went down yesterday. It also happened moments after Khabib Nurmagomedov successfully defended his Lightweight championship against Conor McGregor.
Now, Nurmagomedov has explained exactly why he vaulted over the octagon to attack Dillon Danis, McGregor’s jiu jitsu coach, sparking a near-riot between both camps at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile arena.
As Dana White put it, “all hell broke loose” tonight at #UFC229 as a brawl erupted following Khabib Nurmagomedov’s win over Conor McGregor.😲
See for yourself.👀
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) October 7, 2018
After apologising to the Nevada State Athletic Commission for bringing one of the year’s biggest sporting events into disrepute, the Russian told a post-fight press conference that focus should actually be trained on McGregor’s shit-talking and actions in the lead-up to the UFC 229 bout.
“I don’t understand how people can talk about how I jump on the cage, you know. What about, he talk about my religion, he talk about my country, he talk about my father,” Nurmagomedov said.
He went on to reference an incident in April this year in which an incensed McGregor hurled a hand truck through the window of Nurmagomedov’s bus, which injured the champion and members of his team.
“This is ‘respect’ sport, this is not trash-talking sport,” Khabib said.
UFC commentator Joe Rogan used a radio appearance to claim he heard Danis “absolutely insulting Khabib” just before the incident, which probably didn’t help matters.
UFC boss Dana White later confirmed three members of Nurmagomedov’s team were arrested. It is also unclear if state regulators will allow him to retain his belt after the incident.
For what it’s worth, McGregor has already indicated he’d be down for a rematch – if the two fighters can keep away from straight-up assault outside of the Octagon, that is.