On the night of Saturday, Oct. 6, UFC 229 took place in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena in front of a crowd of people from all walks of life. UFC had a full slate of matches, but many were watching to see the lightweight championship between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor.
From the start, the fight was all Khabib, with little effort coming from McGregor. It was not until the third round that McGregor fans saw some life. Walking to his stool, it looked like McGregor might still have something left, but the next round would prove otherwise. One minute and 58 seconds into the match, Khabib gets McGregor in a chokehold that was too much for McGregor. McGregor tapped out, giving the match to Khabib. The technical term is a submission by a rare naked choke.
Khabib remained undefeated with his 27th win and McGregor fell to 21-4. This was McGregor’s first UFC fight in two years after stepping away to become a boxer.
When looking at the number, Khabib dominated McGregor. Khabib controlled the fight for 12 minutes and 17 seconds, compared to McGregor’s 18 seconds. Both fighters did get many strikes in at each other, which connected at a similar percentage (Nurmagomedov-70%, McGregor-68%). Khabib had more significant strikes as well and had more takedowns, which ultimately helped him win the fight.
The story should have been about Khabib silencing McGregor and all of his followers, but shortly after getting McGregor to tap, he let his emotions take over. Khabib spit on McGregor while getting up and quickly shouting to someone outside the octagon. Khabib jumped out of the octagon and a fight ensued. Khabib went after McGregor’s friend, Dillon Danis, while members of Nurmagomedov’s team got into the cage to attack McGregor. Fans who were close to the cage even tried to step in and fight.
Police were later able to take control and made arrests, including members of Khabib’s team. Charges were dropped after McGregor decided not to press charges.
After all the madness, at the post-fight press conference, Khabib said, “I no understand how people can talk about I jump on cage. He (McGregor) talk about my religion, he talk about my country, he talk about my father. He come to Brooklyn, and he broke bus.”
Both fighters don’t have a lot to be proud of during the course of promoting the fight and what took place after the fight. UFC president Dana White was disappointed and made a point of it after the fight. He said, “People have been saying mean things to each other for 18 years here in the UFC. Nothing like this has ever happened.”
White made note that this can be costly to the UFC company and the fighters. He even said it could mean that Khabib could be stripped of his title.
The weirdest part of it all was toward the end of Khabib’s post-fight comments. He said he received a call from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Khabib said, “Putin just called me to say he is very proud of me, I win, and he says congratulation.”
A lot is still needed to be unfolded, but it looks like the feud will continue in the octagon in the future. McGregor took to Twitter Sunday morning and tweeted: Good knock. Looking forward to the rematch.