It ended in farcical scenes outside the octagon, but there’s no doubt who was the clear winner on the night – Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The man who hails from the Republic of Dagestan – a federal subject of Russia – beat Conor McGregor by submission after three minutes and three seconds of the fourth round to retain his UFC lightweight title in Las Vegas on Sunday night.
Nurmagomedov applied a rear naked choke hold on McGregor to retain the title he won against Al Iaquinta in April.
But the ensuing chaos afterwards – when Nurmagomedov charged towards McGregor’s corner, and members of his team jumped into the octagon and punched the defeated Irishman – led to fierce criticism of the 30-year-old, with even some calls for him to be banned.
Three of those members were arrested, but later released as McGregor chose not to file charges.
Nurmagomedov apologised afterwards, blaming McGregor’s camp for insulting his religion, country and father.
McGregor tweeted after the bout, “Good knock. Looking forward to the rematch”, but he didn’t attend the post-fight press conference.
On Monday, though, he again took to social media, with a warning to his rival: “We lost the match but won the battle. The war goes on.”
We lost the match but won the battle.
The war goes on. pic.twitter.com/CRtPaGfOnn
Earlier on Monday, Nurmagomedov had a go at McGregor: “Friend, even now you are slowing down, otherwise I’m uncomfortable for you myself.
“I told you, on October 6, I’ll tell you everything, or did you really want to beat me there?
“I apologise to everyone whom I have offended in our common victory. And my sincere Fans - you are just a space. Thank you for your incredible support, I love you, yours truly - Khabib Nurmagomedov.”
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