Khabib Nurmagomedov Blames Conor McGregor's Pre-Fight Antics for UFC 229 Brawl

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistOctober 7, 2018

Khabib Nurmagomedov speaks at a news conference after the UFC 229 mixed martial arts event Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Las Vegas. A brawl broke out after the main event between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor when Nurmagomedov climbed over the cage and set off a scuffle with another fighter in McGregor's corner. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov shifted the blame for the scenes that marred the end of the UFC 229 main event to Conor McGregor, saying the Notorious set up the brawl with his persistent personal insults and the incident with a dolly at UFC 223.

After the submission win, Nurmagomedov briefly faced the press to apologise to the Nevada State Athletic Commission and explain things from his perspective. MMAFighting.com shared some of the comments (warning: NSFW language):

SportsCenter shared footage of the press conference, which was done after less than three minutes:

Nurmagomedov comfortably beat McGregor during Saturday's main event with a fourth-round rear-naked choke. He had battered the Irishman up until that point, even if the Notorious arguably won one of the rounds—perhaps the first the Russian has ever lost in the UFC.

But as soon as the fight ended, Nurmagomedov went after McGregor's crew. He exchanged words and jumped out of the Octagon, where things got physical. Sports writer Arash Markazi shared footage of the brawl:

While that was going on, men jumped into the cage and went after an exhausted McGregor, who could barely defend himself.

UFC President Dana White later revealed those men were arrested:

White even suggested the Russian could be stripped of the title if he is suspended for a long time, per The Independent's Jack de Menezes. Such a decision would come down to the UFC, however, as MMA writer Marc Raimondi explained:

Tony Ferguson beat Anthony Pettis in the co-main event, setting himself up for a shot at the title. The UFC has been trying to match him with Nurmagomedov for years, so having the Russian sidelined while Ferguson is ready for his shot would be far from ideal.

The bad blood between Nurmagomedov and McGregor will also undoubtedly lead to talks of a rematch.

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