UFC 229: fireworks as Khabib Nurmagomedov submits Conor McGregor in round four of incredible Las Vegas fight
Russian sours impressive win with ugly confrontation after championship fight
Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov completed an impressive win over Conor McGregor at UFC 229 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night, but the win was marred by the Russian’s reaction after the fight.
Ugly scenes ruined the end of a complete performance from the 30-year-old when he jumped out of the octagon to attack a member of McGregor’s training team, before a member of the Russian’s entourage leapt into the octagon and landed a heavy blow on the Irishman, who had his back turned.
Nurmagomedov had completed a dominant win after submitting the former champion with a rear naked choke hold at three minutes, four seconds of round four to extend his unbeaten record to 27-0.
The Irishman was wobbled by an early right cross in the second round but the action was predominantly played out on the floor.
McGregor survived until the end of the second, and in the third stanza he managed to keep the action upright, which allowed him to get a foothold in the bout.
However, it proved to be short-lived and Nurmagomedov was once again on top in the fourth, sapping McGregor’s energy before ending matters with the choke.
But what should have been the pinnacle of Nurmagomedov’s career turned into pandemonium when, furious, he vaulted the cage fence and attacked people in the crowd as police and security struggled to maintain order.
There was then a terse exchange between the Russian and Dana White, the UFC chief, who refused to present the championship belt to the victor for fear of inciting a riot in the sold out 20,000-capacity arena.
As Nurmagomedov left the arena, he was pelted with drinks and other objects by a pro-McGregor pocket of the crowd.
McGregor made his return to mixed martial arts after a 23-month absence, and was attempting to regain one of his two UFC titles in the night’s main event.
McGregor (21-4) was a slight betting underdog going into the bout, but had no answer for the Russian’s superior ground game.
Earlier in the night, Tony Ferguson beat Anthony Pettis and called out McGregor, although that fight looks further away after the result of the headline bout.