Monday 20 May 2019

WATCH: The moment Khabib Nurmagomedov submitted Conor McGregor before starting mass brawl

Khabib Nurmagomedov has defended his UFC lightweight title against Conor McGregor
Khabib Nurmagomedov has defended his UFC lightweight title against Conor McGregor

Ronan O'Flaherty in Las Vegas

Khabib Nurmagomedov defended his UFC lightweight title against McGregor on a night that the fight was overshadowed by a series of disturbing scenes in its immediate aftermath.

After forcing the Irishman into a fourth-round submission, Nurmagomedov scaled the cage and attacked somebody in the octagon-side section.

From the view of this reporter, high in the nosebleed seats, it was impossible to tell who he was after, but the mere sight of it was shocking.

A frenzied atmosphere enveloped the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, as fights broke out in pockets and a huge security presence escorted McGregor away from the octagon.

It is not known if McGregor was in danger, but initial reports suggested that one of Nurmagomedov's team attempted to attack the Irishman.

Nurmagomedov was then escorted - by an even bigger security detail than McGregor received - out of the arena. On his way out, he was pelted with all manner of missiles as the pro-McGregor crowd registered their disgust.

McGregor did not attend the post-fight press conference and said he was looking forward to a rematch on Twitter.

"Good knock. Looking forward to the rematch," wrote the Irishman.

"What's up guys. I want to say sorry to the athletic commission, sorry to Vegas," said Nurmagomedov.

"This is not my best side, I'm a human being and I don't know how people can talk about me jumping out the cage.

"What about him talking about my family, my religion, the bus? Why are people talking about me jumping over the cage? My father talks to me about respect."

This was a night of shame for the UFC. The incidents were so serious and so disturbing that the Russian fighter was ordered to leave the octagon without celebrating his victory.

In a truly bizarre scene, Bruce Buffer announced the result with neither fighter in the octagon.

Nurmagomedov's victory extends his perfect record to 27-0 and silences many of the doubters who claimed he could never beat a big-name fighter.

The Russian was the better fighter from start to finish. McGregor only showed flashes of his old brilliance that saw him crowned a two-weight UFC champion.

However, analysing the fight seems pointless right now. The bad blood between McGregor and Nurmagomedov has been toxic since April, when the Irishman attacked a bus that was carrying the Russian and a group of UFC fighters.

Tonight's events may well be linked back to that night.

After the fight, UFC President Dana White revealed that three members of Nurmagomedov's team have "been taken to jail".

White said: "Three of his guys have been arrested, I believe they're being taken to jail right now."

Upon being asked what he could see from his cageside seat immediately after the fight, he replied: "A lot of bad stuff.

"A lot of stuff that shouldn't happen, Khabib jumped over the cage and went after one of Conor's guys who I guess was trash talking him.

"I don't know what to say right now, I'm disgusted."

White also revealed that McGregor was unharmed after being assaulted by a member of Nurmagomedov's team immediately after the fight.

"I just talked with him, he's okay," he added. "He's upset about the fight not the fight after the fight."

Online Editors

The Throw-In: Limerick’s uphill task, Tipp’s ruthlessness and can Cork push on?

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport