Time is supposed to heal all wounds, but it appears the more space we put between UFC 229 and the future of the lightweight division, the worse things get for reigning 155-pound kingpin Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Probably because “The Eagle” is tired of getting treated differently than bitter rival Conor McGregor, in a feud that started before UFC 205. That’s where Nurmagomedov was used as a pawn during contract negotiations between McGregor and then-champion Eddie Alvarez.
We also have to consider the way promotion president Dana White handled the post-fight melee following UFC 229. Featherweight Zubaira Tukhugov was reportedly cut for throwing punches at McGregor inside the cage, but Artem Lobov — involved in last April’s “Notorious” bus attack — escaped scot-free.
Nurmagomedov is clearly fed up (via Instagram):
I would like to address @ufc Why didn’t you fire anyone when their team attacked the bus and injured a couple of people? They could have killed someone there, why no one says anything about insulting my homeland, religion, nation, family?
Why do you have to punish my team, when both teams fought. If you say that I started it, then I do not agree, I finished what he had started.
In any case, punish me, @zubairatukhugov has nothing to do with that.If you think that I’ll keep silent then you are mistaken. You canceled Zubaira’s fight and you want to dismiss him just because he hit Conor. But don’t forget that it was Conor who had hit my another Brother FIRST, just check the video.
if you decide to fire him, you should know that you’ll lose me too. We never give up on our brothers in Russia and I will go to the end for my Brother. If you still decide to fire him, don’t forget to send me my broken contract, otherwise I’ll break it myself.
And one more thing, you can keep my money that you are withholding. You are pretty busy with that, I hope it won’t get stuck in your throat. We have defended our honor and this is the most important thing. We intend to go to the end.#Brothers
Tukhugov, interestingly enough, is still listed as Lobov’s opponent on UFC.com.
Following the melee, which took place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, on Oct. 6, 2018, Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) withheld Nurmagomedov’s $2 million fight purse, but paid McGregor, even though the Irishman did some punching of his own.
A hearing is expected later this month but unless Tukhugov keeps his job, I wouldn’t expect “The Eagle” to fly back to “Sin City” to accept his punishment. Maybe Tony Ferguson was right when he said he was the current UFC lightweight champion.
BIG. DRAMA. SHOW.