Russian MMA fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov has caught the eye of his country's president.
Karim Zidan of Bloody Elbow linked to a Russian website and noted Vladimir Putin met with Nurmagomedov following the fighter's UFC 229 victory over Conor McGregor at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Putin said Nurmagomedov defeated McGregor "convincingly" and asked the fighter's father not to punish him "too strictly" as a result, presumably referring to the bout's aftermath.
While Nurmagomedov won with a fourth-round submission, the clash made plenty of headlines for the chaotic post-fight scene when the victor leapt over the cage and into the crowd to fight members of McGregor's corner. A spectator also jumped into the Octagon and threw a punch at McGregor, who swung at Nurmagomedov's teammate.
Putin's reference to potential punishment comes after Nurmagomedov's father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, told RenTV, via Torrey Hart of Yahoo Sports, "I will be very hard on this. I warned him. For me, discipline comes first."
He also said, "You do whatever you want in the Octagon but outside this is the border of civilians where there are children, women and strangers."
Nurmagomedov may be facing punishment beyond that of his father. Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com reported the Nevada Athletic Commission is withholding his $2 million purse until it can fully review the aftermath of Saturday's match. He could be suspended, fined or issued community service as a result.
According to Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times, the NAC suspended each fighter 10 days in preparation for a thorough review.
The melee overshadowed one of the biggest fights in UFC history, but fans may have the chance to see McGregor challenge the undefeated champion again in the future. McGregor tweeted he was "looking forward to the rematch," and Okamoto noted UFC president Dana White said on ESPN's First Take that the Irish fighter called him and asked for a rematch.