So what happened at UFC 229: Khabib vs McGregor? Well first off for those of you living under a rock who missed it – Khabib Nurmagomedov dominated the majority of the fight winning via Neck Crank at 3:03 in the fourth round.
But obviously the already notorious after fight brawl that erupted between the two fight camps, as well as the whole lead up to the fight has caused this to be the UFCs biggest ever event with over $2.4 Million Pay-per-view buys.
Given how the whole build up, fight and fallout from the fight has gone, I am really not surprised that it was the biggest pay-per-view the UFC have ever put on.
I feel a bit strange about everything that happened and as I have followed Conor McGregor’s career since it inception as well as my own Irish heritage I would have liked to have seen Conor do better in the fight, ideally win it. But I also wish Conor didn’t do so much deep personal verbal attacks on Khabib in the build up or any of the bus incident rubbish too.
In today’s post we are just going to looking closer at everything that happened at UFC 229 to give some kind of sanity to what turned out to be such an insane but historic fight card.
The build up
There was really no animosity for years from what I heard, in fact both fighters seemed to respect each other for years, but there was always whispering between the two fight camps of SBG Ireland and AKA that the two may fight one day. Some even say Conor and Khabib have done some grappling before at an undisclosed gym.
But in terms of everything that happened at UFC 229, it seems to have mainly spurred from some critical comments long time Conor McGregor team mate Artem Lobov made abut Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Khabib and a large amount of his training partners and manager seemed to corner Artem in the lead up to UFC 223, there was video footage that emerged as it happened of Khabib and his team cornering Artem, pushing him around, slapping him, trying to intimidate him, forcing him to apologise and generally threatening him.
It seems that Conor was informed of this footage on the same day, he then proceeded to jump on a plane to the UFC 223 event in Brooklyn, New York with an entourage of about 30 of his teammates/security.
When Conor and his team arrived the whole infamous bus incident occurred, so lets not dwell on this too much, but it wasn’t long after this that Conor vs Khabib was scheduled for UFC 229.
Then around a month before the event Conor and Kjhabib did a press conference, in this press conference that Conor some scathing remarks about Khabib’s management, his training partners, his religion and his family.
While much of Conor’s comments on these matters was accurate although exaggerated, it really only caused to motivate a stoic Khabib throughout the press conference.
This press conference was very entertaining and really served as an adequate addition to the by now huge build up to the biggest fight in UFC history, here it is –
I don’t know about you but I had some serious goosebumps when Conor’s music started playing on October 6th at the T-mobile arena in Las Vegas – it was that indication that it is finally here, the fight that we have all been waiting for has arrived.
But from the minute the fight started, it became clear very quickly that Khabib was not going to lose this fight, he dominated the majority of the fight mixing mainly take downs and general cage control.
In the second round though Khabib landed a huge right hand and actually dropped Conor, this was a stunning moment as I have never seen anyone in MMA drop Conor with a single punch. Conor got back to his feet pretty quickly, but still Khabib dominated the rest of the round off the back of that huge right hand.
Round 3 was the one glimmer of hope for Conor in the fight as he successfully stuffed a few take downs and landed some good clean shots on the feet.
But round 4 was the end of Conor, as Khabib secured another take down, and quickly moved to Conor’s back, he then proceeded to lock in a really tight neck crank and despite Conor doing some of the right things to try to stop the situation developing, it became really tight really quick and he was forced to tap at 3:03 seconds of the 4th round.
Heres a good fight recap –
From what happened immediately after the fight, it was explosive and the fallout is still unravelling now. Its definitely gone viral now, but immediately after the fight Khabib started shouting at Conors training partner Dillon Danis who then started to wave Khabib on.
I doubt he expected what Khabib then went onto do, as I don’t think any of us did, but in hindsight maybe his reaction made sense to some degree given the personal nature of the build up to the fight.
Khabib jumped over the cage and literally did a jumping foot stomp onto Danis who was standing in Conor’s team of course with Owen Roddy, John Kavanagh and a few others – then all hell broke lose as security separated Khabib and Danis in the crowd. Meanwhile as this was happening Conor was responding by punching one of Khabib’s teammates on the top of the cage – then two of Khabib’s teammates UFC fighter Zubaira Tukhugov and another of Khabib’s training partners jumped into the cage.
Tukhugov then approached Conor with likely no good intentions – considering Conor was watching Khabib fight one his teammates in the crowd, its likely he went into defensive mode from here on, so he landed a big left hand on Tukhugov noticeably stunning him.
Then allegedly either UFC fighter Islam Makachev or some other random Khabib teammate attacked Conor from behind with a 4 punch combination, Conor covered up, then another of Khabib’s teammates seemed to grapple with Conor for a second against the cage.
Here’s the footage of the outburst –
Security where panicking and running around desperately trying to intercept every outburst, it was at this point that they managed to put a lid on everything, but it was an ugly if not entertaining scene. But by this time the crowd was also getting angry, especially Conor fans and Dana White then refused to allow Khabib back in the cage or to wrap the belt around him for fear of a violent response from the Irish fans attending.
Then after there was footage and multiple reports of fights breaking out around the T-Mobile between Russian and Irish fans. I didn’t like seeing this all this happen, but knew it was always a danger of happening considering the extremely personal build up.
Since the immediate fallout The Nevada State Athletic Commission withed Khabib’s fight purse only paying him half just in the past week, while Conor got all of his – also Dana White and the UFC owners have not really given clear answers on if Khabib is still the champion despite clearly winning the fight with McGregor.
Khabib is looking at Boxing options maybe against Mayweather, also looking at other MMA promotion offers – 50 Cent has even offered $2 Million for Khabib to join Bellator.
The UFC owners must be very careful how they handle this or they risk losing one of teh greatest MMA fighters ever in Khabib which I really wouldn’t want to see.
There is a hearing from the Nevada State Athletic Commission on December 10th which both men must attend and will determine the fines, punishments and general future both men face.
I for one hope both men get minimal punishments, potentially with higher punishments for some of Khabib’s teammates. I want to see Khabib Nurmagomedov as the official Lightweight champion, because that is what he now is after beating Conor so resoundingly.
Many want the immediate rematch to happen between Conor and khabib, but personally I don’t think that makes sense stylistically, but maybe from a money perspective it does.
I want to see Khabib fight Tony Ferguson – the only other fighter at Lightweight with a legitimate claim to the title right now. Then I want to see Conor get a kind of tune up fight against a lower ranked Lightweight, but given Conor’s superstar status I am not sure he would accept this kind of lower ranking fight but we will see.
You can be sure that we will cover everything as it unfolds right here at the MMAGateway.
Thanks for reading.