When Conor McGregor and Co. stormed the Barclays Center during today’s UFC 223 media day festivities in Brooklyn, N.Y., their main objective was to get at Khabib Nurmagomedov in apparent retaliation for “The Eagle” and his team cornering Artem Lobov in a hotel.
Fortunately, the goon squad failed to do so, as Team Khabib was already on the bus which resulted in Conor smashing the vehicle’s windows with a dolly and cutting Michael Chiesa’s face up with flying glass.
MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani caught up with “The Eagle” shortly after the hoopla and got his reaction:
“I am laughing inside. You broke window? Why? Come inside. If you real gangster why don’t you come inside? This is big history gangster place. Brooklyn. You want to talk to me? Send location. I am going to come. No problem,” he added, before revealing only he, his cornerman and his manager were on the bus at the moment.
“To be honest, I don’t want him to go to jail,” Nurmagomedov said. “We have to fight. If we have to fight, let’s fight. Send location. Please, we have to fix this. Me and you. One-on-one. You want 10-on-10? OK,” he added.
“I give his whole team slap and no one say anything. He come with media, with cameras when I’m alone. Of course I want to go outside but they don’t let me leave the bus. He knows this. They don’t do nothing. I’m here.”
Of course, Khabib and Co. are no strangers to causing melees of their own, as they were involved in a brawl with Nate Diaz and his posse during a World Series of Fighting (WSOF) event a few years ago which ultimately spilled on to a casino floor (video footage here).
At the end of the day, McGregor being a few minutes late prevented yet another UFC 223 setback, as there is no telling what would’ve happened had Conor and Nurmagomedov —- who is set to face Max Holloway in the main event for the Lightweight title — been able to put hands on one another.
That said, the setup for an eventual McGregor vs Khabib UFC showdown has been teed up perfectly -- for better or worse — for the promotion should they get matched up inside the Octagon down the line.