Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov remains one half of the biggest pay-per-view (PPV) in MMA history, thanks to a fourth-round submission victory over Conor McGregor, the sport’s biggest star and the fighter behind the infamous bus attack in Brooklyn.
But what should have been a night of high fives and butt slaps quickly became a public relations nightmare, as the since-retired “Eagle” dove from the top of the Octagon to attack McGregor’s jiu-jitsu trainer, Dillon Danis, along with a few other trash-talking groupies from the “Notorious” entourage.
Not his finest moment, but Nurmagomedov had already prepared for war.
“I’m not gonna say I’m proud of something like this, maybe on this age right now, like 33 and a half, maybe I’m not gonna jump right now,” Nurmagomedov told Full Send Podcast. “But for that time? First of all, I was preparing for war. I come inside the cage, I fight with this guy, and he tap. I’m like, why I come here, why I train so hard for this, like you’re gonna tap easy like this? I just take his chin, you know, he tap.”
Unfortunately for the amped-up Nurmagomedov, the fights outside the cage proved to be no harder. Not that anything substantial took place during the melee (see it), which had “Sin City” security earning its keep that night inside T-Mobile Arena, but that didn’t spare “The Eagle” from another round of disappointment.
“This one makes me upset too, because I expect more than what I find inside the cage, I expect more,” Nurmagomedov continued. “Then after what happened, honestly, I don’t remember everything, I’m gonna be honest. I remember someone from his corner saying something and it was crazy emotional moment for me. I’m like ‘okay, this party not finished.’”
That party cost “The Eagle” nine months on the bench, as well as a hefty fine.
After the fight, McGregor campaigned for an immediate rematch, conceding it was a “good knock” but also insisting the score had yet to be settled. Nurmagomedov, however, claims the promotion never offered him a “Notorious” rematch because their first fight in the UFC 229 main event ended so definitively.
“I think he was happy, of course,” Nurmagomedov said about McGregor. “What’s gonna happen if referee was not there? They never ask me to fight again. Of course not. UFC say like, ‘Why we have to make this fight again. You have to win some, then maybe we gonna make. But right now, you kill him four rounds, you finish him, he tap, there is like no reason. Why we have to make rematch?’”
Because everyone involved would make “unbelievable money.”