Who is to blame for the post-fight chaos at UFC 229?
Khabib Nurmagomedov, of course, as the reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion scaled the fence, then jumped into the crowd to throw hands with Dillon Danis in the wake of his fourth-round submission win over Conor McGregor.
Relive the madness here.
Nurmagomedov understands his role in the bench-clearing brawl and made a brief appearance at the UFC 229 post-fight press conference inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada (watch the replay here), where he issued an apology for his erratic behavior.
“First of all I want to say sorry to Athletic Commission, Nevada, sorry to Vegas,” he said. “I know this is not my best side. This is not my best side. I am human being. I no understand how people can talk about I jump on cage. [McGregor] talk about my religion, he talk about my country, he talk about my father. He come to Brooklyn, and he broke bus. He almost kill a couple people, worry about this shit. Why people talk about I jump on cage? Why people still talk about this? I no understand.”
Nurmagomedov is referring to the Brooklyn bus attack that started (or in some ways continued) to pump bad blood into their UFC rivalry. McGregor was arrested after launching a dolly through a bus window back in April (more on that here).
In addition, the incident in “The Empire State” caused a pair of innocent bystanders — Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg, just to name a few — to suffer lacerations from broken glass, which is why Nurmagomedov believes the media’s desire to push the pre-fight antics is partly to blame.
“Media change a little bit MMA,” the champion said. “It’s a respect sport; this is not trash-talking sport. This is respectful. I told you guys, ‘I want to change this game.’ I don’t want people to talk shit about opponent, talk shit about father, like religion. You cannot talk about religion, you cannot think about nation. For me, this is very important. Thank you for waiting for me. I know when I go home my father going to smash me because I know he’s going to smash me. Nevada, sorry. Vegas, sorry.”
I don’t think we can blame the media for McGregor’s mind games.
Now that the dust has (somewhat) settled from last night’s debacle, Nurmagomedov will have to answer to Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), who no doubt will be looking to hand down some sort of disciplinary action for “The Eagle’s” impromptu flight into the stands.
For much more on UFC 229 including all the news, highlights, results, and more, head over to our “Khabib vs. McGregor” live story stream by clicking here.