UFC 229: Khabib Nurmagomedov Beats Conor McGregor, Brawl Begins
Referee Herb Dean separates Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia from Conor McGregor of Ireland after McGregor tapped out in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 main event. (Harry How/Getty Images North America)

Khabib Nurmagomedov entered the UFC 229 main event against Conor McGregor looking to knock off the former champion. It’s the ‘Notorious’ one’s return to the Octagon after two years away from MMA. This fight was toted by many to possibly be the most important in the history of UFC.

The elite wrestling and technical style of undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov going up against Conor McGregor, the flashy knockout artist who saw his celebrity reach another stratosphere in his time away from UFC. A fight with Floyd Mayweather took Conor to a new level of fame. But as the prodigal son marked his return, Khabib wanted to stake his claim atop the UFC’s elite. Taking out McGregor was Nurmagomedov’s first obstacle.

The two had quite the interesting pre-fight hype ultimately hitting the public eye back in April of this year. Conor McGregor arrived to a UFC event and went after Khabib, destroying property in the process and breaking a bus window. But this feud hit its peak at the UFC 229 press conference just two weeks before the fight. Nurmagomedov sat relatively quiet during their press tour and he remained under control as McGregor continued to hurl insults, some very offensive against Khabib and his beliefs. The fight took on a more personal feel. This felt like a fight that was going to see some major fireworks.

The first two rounds were dominated by Khabib Nurmagomedov and his prolific wrestling game. He was basically glued to McGregor on the ground just trying to test the stamina and effort level of the first two-division UFC champ. Much to the delight of the fans in Las Vegas, the action ramped up thanks to a third round that many would say was won by Conor McGregor. As we headed to the championship rounds, it looked like McGregor was set to mount a comeback. But unfortunately for him and his team, the comeback attempt was put to sleep.

More ground work from Khabib Nurmagomedov led to a point where Khabib had a rear mount on McGregor. Almost instantly Conor found himself in an all too familiar position. An elite fighter mounted behind him with arms wrapped around his neck. Just like he did against Nate Diaz in 2016, Conor McGregor succumbed to a rear naked choke. The submission victory cemented Nurmagomedov’s dominance atop the lightweight division. But instead of celebrating, Khabib barked in the face of a downed McGregor and then Nurmagomedov had some more words for McGregor’s team. Khabib climbed over the cage and madness erupted at UFC 229.


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