Monday 20 May 2019

McGregor up for rematch in spite of fight night chaos following his Vegas defeat

Conor McGregor leaves the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas following his defeat. Photo: Sportsfile
Conor McGregor leaves the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas following his defeat. Photo: Sportsfile
Khabib Nurmagomedov being escorted out of the arena. Photo: Getty
Screen grab of the Dubliner being punched in the back of the head after the bout had ended
Ryan Nugent

Ryan Nugent

Conor McGregor wants a rematch with his conqueror Khabib Nurmagomedov - despite the fight night descending into chaos and a violent brawl.

Three men from Nurmagomedov's team were arrested after entering the Octagon and attacking McGregor following the UFC bout in Las Vegas.

Immediately after the fight - with McGregor still sat on the floor in disbelief - Nurmagomedov threw his gum-shield on to the ground, leapt over the octagon and out to confront somebody from the McGregor camp.

That move sparked chaotic scenes around the T-Mobile Arena that totally overshadowed the fight, which is believed to have broken all UFC pay-per-view records.

Footage of the brawl also appears to show McGregor throwing a punch at a member of Nurmagomedov's team while both men were atop of the rail around the octagon.

Soon after this, a number of people invaded the octagon, and McGregor was hit on the back of the head a number of times.

Three men were arrested following the incident.

However, they were released without charge, according to UFC boss Dana White, who said McGregor had decided against pressing any charges.

The Russian fighter dominated McGregor throughout the bout, with the Crumlin man eventually tapping out midway through the fourth round after his opponent had managed to trap him in a rear-naked chokehold.

The controversy has not lessened McGregor's appetite for the sport, however, as he posted a message online only hours after being defeated, promising: "I'll be back".

This was followed by a tweet, in which the Dubliner raised the possibility of exacting revenge for the defeat that has seen him lose his lightweight belt in his first defence of it.

"Good knock. Looking forward to the rematch," McGregor posted on Twitter.

Nurmagomedov's payment for the fight has also been withheld by the Nevada Athletic Commission.

However, UFC boss Mr White said McGregor's purse had not been withheld.

Speaking in the aftermath of the incident, Mr White said that he had been in touch with McGregor.

"I just talked with him, he's OK," he said. "He's upset about the fight - not the fight after the fight."

Mr White said that the record-breaking night had been ruined by the chaos.

The bad blood between McGregor and Nurmagomedov had kicked off in April, when McGregor attacked the Russian's team bus following a UFC promotional event in New York.

McGregor was charged with a number of offences, including a felony charge of criminal mischief and a misdemeanour charge of assault following the incident.

Speaking after the fight, Nurmagomedov said that Russia President Vladimir Putin had congratulated him.

"Putin just called me and told me he's very proud of me, he said congratulations."

The victor added: "I said everything was going to change on October 6."

Irish Independent

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