Conor McGregor tapped out in the fourth round of his comeback fight at UFC 229 against Khabib Nurmagomedov, who then climbed over the cage and set off a brawl by attempting to fight someone in McGregor’s corner on Saturday night.
The wild scene occurred after McGregor (21-4) got caught in a choke by Nurmagomedov (27-0), who defended his lightweight belt with an impressive victory over the Irish star who infamously attacked a bus carrying Nurmagomedov in Brooklyn last April.
Several months of hostilities between the fighters’ camps exploded into public view when Nurmagomedov stood up, hurled his gumshield to the ground and shouted at McGregor’s corner before hurdling the cage and attempting to fight someone.
Mayhem reigned for a few minutes while security personnel attempted to calm both fighters and their camps.
Although Nurmagomedov was later declared the winner he was not given the lightweight championship belt, prompting speculation he could be stripped of his title.
In case you missed it, Nurmagomedov has expressed his regret at what unfolded but showed his disdain for McGregor’s behaviour leading up to the fight, including the notorious bus attack in April that left several rival fighters injured.
Dana White has acknowledged the UFC might strip its title from Nurmagomedov (27-0)…
“If he gets suspended, it depends on how long his suspension is. And if it’s a long suspension, yeah, he’s probably going to get it stripped.”
British MMA fighter John Maguire certainly thinks so…
“Don’t worry people it will all be forgotten about in a couple of weeks and then there will be a even bigger build-up for a rematch,” he said.
How the mayhem kicked off…
Many are now wondering if McGregor will return to a UFC ring again.
Olympic boxer Tony Jeffries has written on Twitter: “Gutted for Connor (sic), the most entertaining man in sport… I hope this isn’t the end.”
But he can surely take reassurance from the message from McGregor’s own coach, John Kavanagh, which suggests he plans to be back…
Mike Tyson: ‘This is crazier than my fight riot’
The ugly brawl between the camps has provoked a strong reaction on social media – much more so than the actual outcome of the fight.
Former heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson has set the tone by claiming the brawl outdid the night he bit off part of Evander Holyfield’s ear in 1997!!!
‘It’s a bad night for MMA, a black eye for the sport’
Gareth A Davies, in the thick of the action, has sent us his recap of everything that went down.
THIS IS A MUST LISTEN.
‘This is not what the sport is about’
More reaction from Dana White, who could not hide his disappointment about how the night ended…
“It is a bad night for me and for people who have covered the events. We know that this is not what the sport is about. I am not in a good mood right now.
“I’m so disappointed. I’m one of the guys who has worked 18 years to get this sport where it is today.
“It is super personal to me. I have worked so hard for so long.
“It is just so disappointing.
“It should have ended with Khabib walking out a champ but it didn’t.”
How Khabib beat McGregor
What with everything that went on after the fight, the winning moment seems to have been forgotten about.
Here’s a reminder of how ‘The Notorious’ came unstuck…
Khabib apologises but does not answer questions
Our man Gareth A Davies has sent in this latest update and captured this footage…
‘Khabib is at the press conference, speaks briefly, apologies and says that President Putin called him to congratulate him… says that Conor disrespected his father, his country, him, and his religion…’
McGregor fight chaos – The breakdown
White defends way fight was handled
UFC president Dana White has said the event ended in “a s***** way”, adding: “We did more than anything we have ever done to stop this kind of thing happening.
“What can you do when someone climbs over the cage like a monkey…
“The (security) team did a great job of containing this tonight.”
McGregor not pressing charges
Dana White at the press conference. Says McGregor is not pressing charges against the three men arrested and then released by the police…
Nurmagomedov may not be paid
Dana White, the head of UFC, is talking again. “I just spoke to Bob Bennett from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, he said they have looked at some stuff already and they have made the decision that they will not withhold McGregor’s cheque, but they are withholding Khabib’s,” he said.
How did we get here?
Hey guys, two wrongs don’t make it right. Conor didn’t deserve that. No one did. But some things aren’t for fight promotion. Religion, family, country. Throwing stuff in Brooklyn. For Khabib it wasn’t fight promotion, it was really personal. Diff culture man. Sucks
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) October 7, 2018
There’s a lot of questions about how this fight was promoted. And some sympathy for Nurmagomedov’s position. But there’s no doubt you simply can’t take the fight into the crowd like that.
No matter what has been said 2 bare knuckle men cannot attack a man who has just been fighting for 20 mins.. one from behind also.. Khabib has the win and embarrassed Conor! How was this not enough? There is not 2 sides to this there is only one and Khabib is at full fault!
— Tony Bellew (@TonyBellew) October 7, 2018
‘Three members of team Khabib are arrested’
Dana White, the head of UFC, is talking to Fox Sports.
“A lot of bad stuff and stuff that shouldn’t happen,” is how he described the aftermath.
“Three of Khabib’s guys have been arrested. They are on their way to jail. There will charges filed against them I’m sure. These guys may never get a visa to get back in the country.”
He also opted not to give Nurmagomedov the lightweight belt after his chaotic win, he said, for fear McGregor’s fans would react badly.
Reports of fights in Las Vegas
No official confirmation yet but there are multiple reports of scuffles and fights breaking out on the main strip in Las Vegas tonight.
Both fighters had to escorted from the arena by police and security.
No belt was presented and no speeches made, but the ring announcer declared Nurmagomedov the winner to a chorus of boos from the McGregor-supporting crowd.
What an extraordinary fight. And what an ugly ending.
First up, what happens next? Should Nurmagomedov hold his title? Should he be stripped of the belt and suspended for his actions in almost causing a riot?
Will there be a rematch?
But more than that, has the sport gone too far in the way it is promoting itself as a no-holds barred contest? Should McGregor have been punished by UFC for his actions with the bus in Brooklyn, which is all part of the bad blood between these two camps? How is it right for that episode to be used as part of promoting this fight?
A bad night for the sport
Surrounded by cops, Nurmagomedov is taken from the arena, beer and cups are being thrown at him as he goes out of the arena.
Bruce Buffer announces that Nurmagomedov is still the UFC lightweight champion…
The ending was madness. Utter madness. That was terrible for the sport.
Mayhem at the ringside
Disgraceful sees in the Octagon started by the winning fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov. He leapt out of the Octagon and into Conor McGregor’s team corner starting a fight with Dillon Danis, one of McGregor’s training partners. Utterly disgraceful. Then one of the Dagestani’s team-mates climbed over the Octagon wall and started punching McGregor. It is mayhem ringside, as a mass brawl between the teams breaks out. The police come in thick and fast and the trouble was quelled.
Nurmagomedov is booed in the entire arena,… bad blood had simmered, and this was the aftermath.
McGregor and his entourage leave the arena before the result is called out in the arena. Luke Rockhold and Daniel Cormier the American training partners of the Dagestani are in the Octagon trying to calm him down. The Commission is in the Octagon.
Dana White, UFC President, is taking to Khabib Nurmagomedov …
The moment Khabib plunged into the crowd
Khabib looks to be in tears. Has he been stripped of his title? Is it declared a no-contest?
How it ended
Here’s how Gareth A Davies saw it:
Seeing fatigue in McGregor – understandably – and ring rust, yes, it’s real, after two years away. Khabib is on top again grinding away and dominating the former champion with his brilliant wrestling, smothering style. The crowd are jeering for they want the fight on the feet not the ground. Khabib works to a rear-naked choke and it IS ALL OVER AS MCGREGOR TAPS !!
Khabib retains his title…
Nurmagomedov wins as McGregor taps out
Extraordinary scenes. Nurmagomedov wins but clambers into the crowd, going after one of McGregor’s coaches. One of Khabib’s retinue then takes aim at McGregor. Bad tempered stuff.
Nurmagomedov on top
Nurmagomedov is all over McGregor, with an attempted takedown here.
Round 3 – McGregor
Jab from McGregor, left hand. Body shot. Lower leg kick. All McGregor. Good right from Nurmagomedov out of the clinch. He pins Conor back to the Octagon wall and begins his hands-on grind again. McGregor gets free and the crowd roars. In fact, they roar every time he lands a punch. Much closer round. They slug it out more in the centre. Conor landing but not hurting Nurmagomedov. What a fight.
SCORE: Conor 10-9
This is the moment at the end of the second round when Conor McGregor broke into a grin as if to prove he was still in this thing despite a tough, tough battle.
Round 2 – Khabib
How much did that take out of McGregor ? That was Khabib’s territory on the ground. McGregor attacks with kicks. And then BOOM! a right hook dropped McGregor and they go into a wild exchange. Khabib is now scenting a finish and lifts and dumps McGregor, gaining top position and landing punches and elbows from his dominance. He is on his feet attacking a downed McGregor who is hanging on in there… Khabib back on top and works to a guillotine choke, but the crowd goes wild as McGregor regains his feet… this is starting to become epic….
McGregor has a laugh with Khabib at the end of the round, as if to say “you can’t finish me” … Khabib looks so angry and focused.
SCORE: Khabib 10-8
Is this the end?
Khabib is all over McGregor who is taking big shots in the second round.
Round 1 of 5 – Khabib
In a scramble they hit the floor after a cagey stand off, McGregor hunting for openings on the feet. Khabib gets a strong position on top on the ground – the sell out crowd want refers Herb Dean to stand them up on to their feet – KN looking for a dominant position inside Conor McGregor’s guard, as challenger lands elbows and series to champion’s head from the bottom. Boos from the crowd. Herb Dean should have stood them up by now. 80 % of the round is spent on the ground. Five rounds of this would be unbearable.
Score: Khabib 10-9 (based on ground control).
Green, white and orange
It’s all Ireland in the arena.
We’re under way
Five rounds. Here we go.
No one fancied a touch of gloves much….
What an atmosphere
McGregor received an amazing reception, walked to the Octagon slowly, relishing every moment, he stopped to touch his Proper Twelve logo on the canvas, the whiskey he has developed. In the Octagon, smoke rises… it is green. He is followed by the now reigning lightweight UFC champion who is gently booed and cheered from different areas of the T-Mobile Arena.
Both men are impassive. McGregor awaits Khabib in the darkened Octagon. The lights are on, and we have them both in there.. what expectation here…
Five rounds for the UFC lightweight title, bragging rights, and a whole lot of bad blood….
And we get the famous gorilla walk
Conor McGregor has one of, if not THE best walkout in the sport. We’ve missed this. Good to have him back. He shouts “Home sweet home” as he walks to the Octagon. #UFC229
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) October 7, 2018
Here comes Conor
I know this feeling
– Hands are sweaty
– There may be typos
– We are as nervous and excited as you are#UFC229
— UFC (@ufc) October 7, 2018
Someone get me vaseline for my eyebrows. And we’re not even fighting.
The arena goes green
We are seconds away from the fighters entering and here’s the result of my poll – 61 % of those voting believe Conor McGregor wins tonight….
Well it’s finally time to find out.
For me, Conor must show how brilliant he is in the first cagey exchanges at commanding the range, and make his power and precision is felt.
Khabib, undefeated – 26-0 – and one of the best MMA wrestlers we have ever seen, will get stronger if McGregor is unable to control him. But wait a minute… this is MMA, and anything can happen…
HERE WE GO…
Khabib warms up
The two fighters are warming up back stage. Not long to go now.
Who’s up for this one?
He is. Are you?
Brutal rounds of trench warfare
Brilliant two rounds by both Ferguson and Pettis. Ferguson two rounds up but they are cut, both of them, their faces bloody masks in trench warfare of fists, feet, and elbows. Both are so resilient, leaving everything in there. Oh… there we go… Pettis’s corner have stopped the fight… we are hearing his hand is broken
Ferguson in tears on his haunches on the canvas, emotional…
The co-main event
It’s a great fight up next, also at lightweight between Tony Ferguson and Anthony Pettis, before the main event. The winner of this could fight the winner of Conor McG v Khabib N. So there’s plenty at stake. Here’s what Pettis told me about the main event – his pick – this week…
I go Ferguson in this fight, but could go either way if Ferguson does not close the space quickly and impose himself…
Behind the scenes
Both fighters are embarking on their fight night routines now. It’s getting close.
Suited and booted
It was a little earlier, around 30 minutes ago, but classic arrival of Conor McGregor – the Mac is back in the arena – suited booted and with missus (Dee) and child (in pushchair) in tow… like a night walk in Dublin…
Remarkable as well as Notorious.
McGregor is in the house
Nurmagomedov: ‘He has to kill me to stop me’
Nurmagomedov has a mixed martial arts record of 26-0 and is prepared to go to extreme lengths to remain unbeaten in his professional career, saying: “He has to kill me to stop me.”
“For me this is more than defending my title. For me it’s personal.”
Who ya got?
Okay, okay… for all asking… I have @TheNotoriousMMA inside 2 rounds… Khabib will get stronger if not….
Who ya got… ?
— Gareth A Davies (@GarethADaviesDT) October 7, 2018
Your chance to vote on who you think will win.
McGregor’s whiskey is everywhere
Last month Eire Born Spirits announced the launch of Proper No Twelve Irish Whiskey. Conor McGregor is the company’s chairman and founder, and it is one of the sponsors of UFC 229.
The name apparently comes from the neighbourhood of Crumlin where the MMA star grew up. It is within the Dublin 12 postcode.
Lewis stops Volkov with 10 seconds left
Huge finish by Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis over the Russian “Drago” Volkov.
He was behind there, and then… BOOM…
Lewis v Ngannou
Last time heavyweight Derrick Lewis fought against Francis Ngannou there were just 31 punches thrown in 15 minutes…. Lewis and Volkov trying to throw down here … but Lewis looks somewhat listless in back and forth opener pic.twitter.com/SsAccSKB7V
— Gareth A Davies (@GarethADaviesDT) October 7, 2018
A faster start than last time these two faced off.
Hollywood in the house
We must be getting close to the main event because the movie stars are arriving. The excitement is really building.
It goes 30-26, 29-28, 30-27 for @karatehottiemma – that’s Michelle Waterson to you and me.
Deserved 29-28 for me… didn’t see 30-26 on that one judge’s score…nah.
Technique won there over @feliceherrig
Herrig v Waterson
Meanwhile, it’s a round each for Herrig and Waterson. Round two went the way of Waterson after a great elbow and two head kicks…
The headgear’s off
Herrig v Waterson
Now up it’s Felice Herrig against Michelle Waterson. Here’s what Gareth A Davies has to say:
I have Herrig – one of my favourite fighters in women’s MMA – winning this by turning it into a scrap. Waterson’s work is really clean – angles, strikes, movement – but Felice in a pitbull fighter and I think she’ll turn it into a real barnburner. If Felice can get inside, she could really overcome Michelle with her physicality. Great straw weight fight… Let’s see…
Conor McGregor in his own words
DUM…. DUM DUM
Gareth A Davies on the atmosphere building…
Truly thrilled at these major fight night occasions when The Who’s Baba O’Riley plays at the moment when the pay-for segment of the card begins… been at fights for 27 years and it never gets any less mesmerising. The global fights, with the stories of fighters such as Conor McGregor, never feels tiring. Being close to the greatest fight nights remains one of the treasures of this role in print, on air, online… I sincerely hope for the fans that we will get an epic meeting tonight between the Irishman and Dagestani Khabib Nurmagomedov…
War of words
McGregor hasn’t held back in the war of words. This is what he said on Thursday when he turned up late to a news conference, after Nurmagomedov had already done his thing and left…
He (Nurmagomedov) is petrified. My heart is black towards this man, towards his team, towards his people, I can truly see the inside of that man’s head and smile.
I don’t give a f*** about him or his people. There is way deeper s*** than just a fight on Saturday night.
I plan on knocking that man’s nose straight into the nosebleeds. I am coming to put a hole in this man’s skull.
There will never be peace here. I always say you should aim for peace but if you can’t aim for peace, aim between the eyes. I’m going to aim right between that man’s eyes and this is never over. Never, ever, ever over.”
Two hours or so from the big fight
The action so far
Plenty more action to come. The main card is due to begin in about 10 minutes.
A brutal finish
Jalin Turner makes his UFC debut and soon finds himself on the receiving end of a pretty conclusive KO at the hands of Vicente Luque. He is back up on his feet, but that looked pretty bad.
Where are you watching? Pt 2
Where next for McGregor?
Gareth A Davies, our MMA correspondent, has this on how a McGregor comeback win could catapult the Irishman to new heights of stardom – with help from what he learned in that fight against Floyd Mayweather…
Hype has always sold in fight sports, but when the hype delivers the industry around the individual is set to grow. McGregor stands in that position now, influential enough to get away with crass acts as the UFC’s biggest cash generator. From the metal dolly thrown at the bus carrying Khabib in New York in April, to making the entire card of fighters wait a further twenty minutes on Friday for the weigh-ins as he was late (again), McGregor treads a fine line but delivery on fight night sees all imperfections evaporate.
McGregor’s comeback heightens interest
Today’s event has been billed as the biggest in the UFC’s history and is forecast to set a new benchmark in pay-per-view buys for the organisation.
McGregor’s comeback is unquestionably a factor in that, with the 30-year-old competing in mixed martial arts for the first time since November 2016, when he defeated Eddie Alvarez to become the only fighter to simultaneously hold two UFC titles.
However, his absence meant he was stripped of both the featherweight and lightweight crowns, with Nurmagomedov succeeding McGregor as top dog in the latter division.
The animosity between the pair ramped up significantly in April when McGregor threw a dolly at the window of a bus containing several rival fighters, including Nurmagomedov.
The incident was apparently retaliation after McGregor’s friend and training partner Artem Lobov had an alleged confrontation with Nurmagomedov.
The war of words has intensified ever since, contributing to plenty of ill-feeling between both camps and adding to the anticipation around the fight.
Where are you watching the fight?
— Dustin Wollman (@DustinGordanWol) October 7, 2018
An early win
Drake is in McGregor’s corner
McGregor is by far and away the crowd favourite for this fight – the T-Mobile Arena a sea of green, white and orange – and, unsurprisingly, the Irishman is reveling in their support.
Even world-famous rap stars are Team Notorious.
‘The best against the best’
Will it be Dagestan or Dublin? This’ll get you in the mood. Thanks John Malkovich.
Although I had no idea McGregor was a Trinity College man…
Weigh-in kicks off
Conor McGregor attempted to take the attack to Khabib Nurmagomedov on Friday, ahead of their eagerly-anticipated UFC lightweight title showdown.
The pair both made the 155lb limit on Friday morning but tensions threatened to boil over at the ceremonial weigh-in for UFC 229 at the final staredown later in the day at the T-Mobile Arena.
As they got into their fighting poses, McGregor brought his arms down on Nurmagomedov before aiming a kick at his bitter rival after being beckoned forward by the Russian.
Nurmagomedov seemed unflustered by the antics or another barracking from a crowd largely supporting McGregor.
McGregor made one last attempt to charge at Nurmagomedov but the fighters were held back from each other by a throng of security personnel.
Shout out to Brett Kavanaugh
Odd moment in the undercard. Nik Lentz polished off Gray Maynard with a TKO but it will be his post-fight interview that will be remembered.
“I want to give out a shoutout to my homie Brett Kavanaugh,” he said, provoking a decidedly mixed reaction from the crowd at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas. “Way to go Special K.”
Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in a Supreme Court justice just a few minutes earlier after a bruising confirmation battle during which he was accused of sexual assault, an allegation he denied.
‘The biggest fight in UFC history’
Conor McGregor will end a near two-year absence from the octagon at the T-Mobile Arena tonight when he takes on an opponent who succeeded him as UFC lightweight champion – Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Dana White – the UFC president – even admitted he wondered whether McGregor would return to the UFC after a lucrative foray into boxing last year to take on former pound-for-pound kingpin Floyd Mayweather.
“When a guy makes $100 million you don’t know whether he’s ever going to fight again,” White said.
“Conor made a lot of money, I’m sure he had a lot fun and did what he wanted to do but no matter how much money you make, you can only sit at home for so long before you start to go crazy.
“You can tell this guy’s passionate about fighting, he loves breaking records and he obviously loves making money, so he’s back.”
Mayweather-McGregor did 4.3 million pay-per-view buys, and White believes what has been billed as the biggest fight in the UFC’s history could do similar numbers.
That would obliterate the previous highest UFC record of 1.65m buys for McGregor’s rematch against Nate Diaz in 2016.
White added: “All the numbers are tracking higher than Mayweather-McGregor and this fight is a global fight, the whole world will be literally watching this fight.
“It’s huge, it’s massive. I don’t want to say we’re going to do Mayweather-McGregor numbers but we could possibly do Mayweather-McGregor numbers.”
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