Fans of mixed-martial arts are still shocked at the free-for-all that erupted between the camps of fighters Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor moments after their highly-touted Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight title bout.
The 30-year old Nurmagomedov extended his professional record to a remarkable 27-0 after he submitted his Irish opponent with a rear naked choke hold in the middle of the fourth round.
Nurmagomedov dominated from the first round, routing his Irish opponent in the ground game to sap him of his strength.
McGregor was reduced to throwing punches in the third round as Nurmagomedov’s takedowns won him the judge’s scorecard.
The Russian fighter’s moment of glory however has been overshadowed by the chaos that took place moments after he was declared the winner.
Moments after the fight was stopped, Nurmagomedov climbed over the octagon to attack Dillion Danis, a coach in McGregor’s camp.
Three members of Nurmagomedov’s camp, identified later as his training partners, then charged at McGregor himself, who got entangled with one of Nurmagomedov’s trainers.
As officials tried to restrain the parties, McGregor was led away by officials. While fans cheered him on, boos rained on Nurmagomedov, who stood in the ring demanding UFC President Dana White hand him his lightweight belt.
White however refused to hand Nurmagomedov his belt. The three members of Nurmagomedov’s side who assaulted McGregor were arrested but released when McGregor refused to press charges.
Fan footage shows Nurmagomedov exchanging heated words with Danis immediately after McGregor tapos out, throwing his mouthguard at the coach before charging.
Other footage however suggests that McGregor had thrown an illegal punch at Nurmagomedov before the chaos broke out.
— أحمد العبيد أبا فَهد (@AhmadAlobaid) October 7, 2018
“These guys are in big trouble,” White reportedly said after the brawl.
Fans are surprised at what that took place on Sunday, noting how disputes outside of the octagon rarely manifested into further physical violence.
When UFC does the Royal Rumble better than WWE.#UFC229
— P ɑ ɾ k ҽ ɾ (@jmqnailga) October 7, 2018
Some however believe that McGregor was at fault for the violence, even though he was not the direct instigator of the brawl.
I’ve always loved fighting as a sport, whether it was boxing or MMA, but I absolutely HATE violence outside of sport. Conor crossed the line talking about family, country & religion. Khabib & his team crossed the line today. Sad day for @ufc
— Eric Menk (@EMenk30) October 7, 2018
“That was disgusting.”
You know what else is disgusting…? Throwing a dolly at a bus, harming other fighters on that bus both physically and psychologically. #UFC229
— Not a Power Ranger (@Sugarhigh5me) October 7, 2018
Nurmagomedov after the incident apologized for his actions but said that he was only reacting to the abusive language McGregor used to taunt him.
“I know this is not my best side. This is not my best side. I am a human being,” he said.
Nurmagomedov, a practicing Muslim from Dagestan, Russia, said that McGregor, who is known for controversial statements and actions, had insulted his father, religion and heritage.
“I do not understand how people can talk about ‘I jumped from the cage.’ Worry about, he talked about my religion, he talk about my country, he talk about my father, he come to Brooklyn and he broke bus, he almost killed a couple people. Worry about this,” he added.
McGregor in April 2018, months before the scheduled showdown, attacked Nurmagomedov’s entourage bus in the Barclays Center, throwing a steel dolly through the bus’ window and injuring members of the Russian’s camp.
He was not punished by UFC officials for his actions.
Tempers between the two flared again during the pre-fight weigh-in, when Nurmagomedov wore a wig to mock McGregor, prompting the latter to throw a kick.
Nurmagomedov has not yet received his payment for appearing in the fight.
McGregor on his Twitter said that he expects a rematch, even the sanctions on the parties involved have yet to be finalized.
He had been accused of racism in the days leading up to his 2017 boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr.