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Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)

Conor McGregor calls UFC chief Dana White to ask for a second crack at Khabib Nurmagomedov

The Irishman was comprehensively beaten by the Russian champion in Las Vegas on Saturday night

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 October, 2018, 3:54pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 October, 2018, 4:03pm

Less than 48 hours after his crushing loss to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor has been in contact with UFC president Dana White to request a rematch.

The Irishman, who was comprehensively outclassed by the unbeaten Russian at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night, also sparked ridicule on social media on Monday when he posted a tweet which showed him sporting a heavily bruised eye with the caption: “We lost the match but won the battle”.

White told ESPN, “Conor McGregor has already called me wanting an immediate rematch.”

The UFC chief also hinted that McGregor’s next opponent could be the renascent Tony Ferguson who made an impressive comeback on the UFC 229 undercard, defeating the highly regarded Anthony Pettis.

“We’ll see what happens with Khabib and what’s next,” White said. “I mean, Tony Ferguson looked amazing, those two have been lined up to fight three different times and it hasn’t happened, so we’ll see how this thing plays out.”

McGregor succumbed to his fourth career defeat at UFC 229, his second loss as a headliner following his stunning loss to the unfancied Nate Diaz in March 2016, and despite being dominated before his fourth round submission to the Dagestan-native Nurmagomedov, has indicated he would like to face his rival again.

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The fallout from the highly anticipated title bout, which saw three members of Nurmagomedov’s team arrested by police following a melee after the fight, has dominated the headlines since Saturday.

There have been suggestions that the Russian could face severe punishment from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) and may have his championship belt stripped by UFC.

He has already had his US$2 million purse withheld by the commission pending the results of an inquiry into his behaviour on Saturday night.

Nurmagomedov returned home to the Dagestan capital city of Makhachkala on Monday night to a hero’s welcome. The 30-year-old was met by crowds of supporters after his plane touched down, as he held his championship belt aloft.

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On Monday, the NSAC prepared a complaint against McGregor after reviewing footage of the incredible incident at the T-Mobile Arena.

Crowd footage showed the Irishman appearing to throw the initial punch at one of his attackers following the fight.

“We will be filing against Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov,” NSAC chairman Anthony Marnell told ESPN.

“This is a serious issue, this is not a light issue,” Marnell said. “This isn’t, ‘We smacked each other in the face in a hotel lobby the week of a fight.’ This is the night of the event, and it needs to stay inside that field of combat.

“There are serious regulations and statutes about what took place, and the consequences have to match the actions.”

He said the commission planned to make a decision on the incident in November.