Conor McGregor beaten by Khabib Nurmagomedov on UFC return

Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia (L) punches Conor McGregor
Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia (L) punches Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor says he is ready to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov again despite violent scenes in Las Vegas after the Russian had defeated the Irishman.

McGregor's mixed martial arts return after a near two-year hiatus fell flat as he tapped out midway through the fourth round at UFC 229, and Nurmagomedov soured a career-best performance with his actions immediately afterwards.

The Russian, whose victory meant he retained his lightweight title, threw his gumshield, vaulted the cage and attacked someone from McGregor's camp.

While that was happening, McGregor was set upon and attacked by at least two men who entered the cage as the bad blood between the camps came to a head.

But the Irishman seemed unfazed by all that as he tweeted: "Good knock. Looking forward to the rematch."

Nurmagomedov expressed his regret at what had unfolded but showed his disdain for McGregor's behaviour leading up to the fight, including the notorious bus attack in April that left several rival fighters injured.

The 30-year-old said: "First of all I want to say sorry to Nevada Athletic Commission and second to Vegas. I know this is not my best side. I'm a human being.

"But I don't understand how people can talk about how I jump on the cage. He talked about my religion, he talked about my country, he talked about my father.

"He came to Brooklyn and he broke a bus, he almost killed a couple of people. What about this s***? Why do people talk about me jumping over the cage? I don't understand.

"This is a respectful sport, not a trash-talking sport. I want to change the game, you cannot talk about religion, about nationality."

An event which was billed as the biggest in the UFC's history had an unsavoury end, and company president Dana White appeared shell-shocked by what had happened.

He revealed Nurmagomedov's fight purse was being held back by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and that three potential members of the fighter's camp had been arrested.

However, White said that because McGregor did not want to take the matter further, the trio were later released.

White said: "The Nevada State Athletic Commission pulled the footage from us and there's an investigation going on.

"They are withholding Khabib's purse but not Conor's. They looked at the footage and felt there was no need to withhold Conor's.

"The way it works is Conor is one of the guys attacked, Conor refused to press charges. The guys they had they released.

"There were three guys from Khabib's team arrested, I think they were from Khabib's team, I don't know."

Nurmagomedov knocked McGregor down in the second round with a thunderous haymaker and was ahead on all three of the judges' scorecards when he emphatically finished the fight.

Unfazed by the hostile reception he once again faced from a largely pro-McGregor crowd, Nurmagomedov took the Irishman down and locked in a rear-naked choke three minutes and four seconds into the penultimate round.

White, though, refused to confirm whether Nurmagomedov would hold on to his 155lb crown and believes any sanctions handed down to the fighter by the NSAC could force his hand.

White added: "It's not 100 per cent certain. We're regulated by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. They're going to go after Khabib. The governor was here and he ran out of the building.

"The Nevada State Athletic Commission is going to hand out some type of fine, suspension or whatever. If he gets suspended, it depends how long his suspension is."

Nurmagomedov was not presented with his belt and neither were there any interviews in the octagon, as is customary after a title fight.

White explained he did not want to incite crowd trouble as the reason for not allowing Nurmagomedov to celebrate in the octagon.

"I felt if we put the belt on him in the middle of the octagon, it was going to rain (with missiles)," White added.

"I thought people would throw whatever they had into the octagon and I thought it would be a dangerous situation so I didn't do it."

McGregor's comeback was supposed to be a night of triumph for the UFC, which was expecting to set a new benchmark for pay-per-view figures, but this incident has cast a dark shadow on the sport.

White said: "I've been doing this for 18 years and I couldn't be more disappointed.

"I should be in here bragging about the pay-per-view but I haven't even looked at that or talked about it with anybody.

"We should all be celebrating how when you put on the right event with the right guys at the right time, it works.

"It was a very good week for everybody. It just sucks to end it like this, instead of celebrating we're saying 'that was pretty s***'."

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

Ben Linfoot has picked out his big-priced fancies for the action1

Value Bet: Monarchs to reign

Ben Linfoot seeks out the value on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot and he has three bets, including in the Champion Stakes where he takes on Cracksman.

Our pundits have picked out their best bets for QIPCO British Champions Day2

Champions Day: Pundit Picks

Our racing pundits with their Nap selections for QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday.

Today's Racing Tips3

Saturday's racing preview

Keith Hamer previews Saturday's QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot and has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Saturday's best bets4

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Our experts provide their best bets for Saturday's top-class racing, domestic football and the United States Grand Prix.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package5

Premier League 3pm previews

Mark your card for Saturday's 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League with the best bets, Super 6 predictions and top stats for each game.

Most Read

Ben Linfoot has picked out his big-priced fancies for the action1

Value Bet: Monarchs to reign

Ben Linfoot seeks out the value on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot and he has three bets, including in the Champion Stakes where he takes on Cracksman.

Our pundits have picked out their best bets for QIPCO British Champions Day2

Champions Day: Pundit Picks

Our racing pundits with their Nap selections for QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday.

Today's Racing Tips3

Saturday's racing preview

Keith Hamer previews Saturday's QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot and has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Saturday's best bets4

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Our experts provide their best bets for Saturday's top-class racing, domestic football and the United States Grand Prix.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package5

Premier League 3pm previews

Mark your card for Saturday's 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League with the best bets, Super 6 predictions and top stats for each game.

Racing Tips

Ben Linfoot has picked out his big-priced fancies for the action

Value Bet: Monarchs to reign

Ben Linfoot seeks out the value on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot and he has three bets, including in the Champion Stakes where he takes on Cracksman.

Simon Holt reveals his best bets for the weekend's racing

Simon Holt: Next of Kyn

Top commentator Simon Holt previews QIPCO British Champions Day and he has bets in the QEII and the Balmoral Handicap.

Today's Racing Tips

Saturday's racing preview

Keith Hamer previews Saturday's QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot and has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Next Race Off

00:44 Santa Anita
3
(3)
Gallantlystreaming
J: Drayden Dyke Van
5
(5)
True Validity
J: Rafael Bejarano
8
(8)
Rather Nosy
J: Flavien Prat

Football Tips

Chelsea v Man United: Sporting Life's match preview

Five losses in a row at the Bridge?

Jose Mourinho has lost four matches in a row at Stamford Bridge as Manchester United boss. Will the Blues pile on the misery for the Red Devils?

Our best bets for Blackburn v Leeds

Leeds set to Klich at Ewood Park

Leeds will be looking to move back to the top of the Sky Bet Championship table when they take on Blackburn. We look at the betting.

You can back the Sporting Life Accumulator at 75/1 on Saturday

Sporting Life Accumulator

Following another win last weekend, we have a four-fold accumulator in the EFL enhanced to a huge 75/1 by title sponsors Sky Bet.