Chaos ensued after UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov sensationally forced Irishman Conor McGregor to tap out in the fourth round of their fight at the Las Vegas T-Mobile Arena.
Seconds after landing a fourth-round submission by choke hold, the Russian vaulted the cage and headed towards Irishman McGregor’s team, prompting a melee. Still recovering from the bout, McGregor was then punched in the octagon by one of Nurmagomedov’s team. Three of Nurmagomedov’s party were arrested but later released.
UFC president Dana White said McGregor had refused to press charges. Earlier White could be heard telling the 30-year-old winner he could not receive his belt in the octagon as he feared it may incite trouble among those present in the arena. He later said the Nevada State Commission, which sanctioned the bout, has withheld Nurmagomedov’s fight payment pending an investigation.
‘I know if we put the belt on him [Nurmagomedov] in the octagon there’ll be things thrown,’ said White. ‘I just said let’s just try and get him out of here. Police officers were getting punched, security guys were getting punched. I actually think police and security did an incredible job. Khabib jumped over the cage like one of those parkour guys. What are you expected to do? ‘
McGregor came out stalking Khabib, throwing a big left hand and left high kick before fending off Nurmagomedov’s first takedown attempt.
Khabib continued pushing forward, eventually putting McGregor on his backside against the cage, he stayed on him for the rest of the round, though he struggled to inflict any significant damage due to the Irishman’s defence.
Early in the second, Khabib landed a big right hand that rocked McGregor and sent him to the canvas. He then moved in for the kill, taking down McGregor and landing brutal punches from full guard.
McGregor could’ve quit and allowed Nurmagomedov to pound him out, but instead he continued to work away from the punches and eventually made it back to his feet, albeit beaten to a pulp.
McGregor started round three with a far bigger respect for Nurmagomedov’s striking, taking a more methodical approach to throwing his strikes.
He landed a couple of shots and fended off Khabib’s takedown attempts. McGregor grew more confident and landed a few more, but none of them were significant enough to get Khabib into trouble. Khabib tried to take the fight to the ground yet again, but he was unable to do so, and might have lost his first round in the UFC.
Boosted by his success in the previous round, McGregor was a lot looser with his shots and tagged Khabib twice while being taken down.
Khabib dominated on the ground after that takedown and was very close to moving into a mount position.
McGregor tried to get back to his feet and that allowed Khabib to get onto his back. He took him down yet again and initiated a rear-naked choke that resulted in McGregor giving up and handing Nurmagomedov the victory.
The fight result was announced with no fighter in sight as the biggest fight in UFC history ended on a sour night.
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