Khabib Nurmagomedov may have slipped up at UFC 229 this past October in Las Vegas when he jumped out of the cage following his submission win over Conor McGregor and incited an all-out brawl, but the undefeated UFC lightweight is now making up for it.
At least when it comes to his teammates Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Zubaira Tukhugov, who joined the post-fight melee to take a shot at McGregor inside of the cage.
According to Khabib teammate and UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, Nurmagomedov is not only sitting out of competition until Abubakar and Tukhugov return from their suspensions stemming from UFC 229’s brawl, but he also plans on paying their fines.
Remember, Khabib was suspended nine months and fined $500,000 for his own role in UFC 229’s brawl. Abubakar and Tukhugov received individual one-year suspensions and $25,000 fines.
“I think that Khabib is doing the most honorable thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Cormier said during a recent appearance on the MMA Hour. “Not many guys will pay the fine, the 500 grand, also pay the fines of your teammates and brothers. He’s paying their money too. Whatever they fine [Abubakar and Tukhugov], he’s gonna pay it too. Those are his brothers. They were acting to help him, I guess. They’re suspended longer, he will sit with them. That’s one thing about those guys and their lifestyle and their community is that they are family at the highest level and what he’s doing is so honorable. Not many people would do that. He’s doing it with the idea that even if they take his title, it does not mean more to him than standing next to his brothers. It doesn’t get any better than that. I appreciate it. I do think the fine was steep. Whatever.”
Following his suspension and fine at the hands of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), Khabib made it clear that he will never compete in Las Vegas again. Cormier, who trains alongside Khabib every day, doubled down on his teammates’ plans.
“He also said that he’s not gonna fight there anymore. He’s very firm in his approach, he’s very firm in what he wants to convey to the world,” explained Cormier. “I’m very proud of him. I’m proud of the man that Khabib has become from the moment he walked into AKA to who he is today, I’m very proud of him.”
For now, Khabib will wait to see what happens to his undisputed UFC lightweight title. Despite the fines he plans on paying, sitting out until November may force the promotion to put Khabib’s reign on ice and introduce an interim 155-pound title, which has already been rumored between McGregor and veteran Donald Cerrone.