Khabib VS Connor: The Buildup to the Blowout
If you have been following the UFC, then you definitely know about Connor McGregor, the MMA artist who has now become a global superstar for his non-MMA appearances as well. The Irish are known for their brute strength and force, and McGregor is a worthy representative of the Irishmen especially when it comes to the UFC cage.
All of you must remember the loss McGregor faced in the much-hyped match with Mayweather, even though he had exerted extreme confidence pre-match that he would definitely emerge victorious. However, even after that loss, his popularity keeps soaring new heights.
It was entirely uncertain whether McGregor would return to fight, considering his age and also speculation that the UFC star had simply lost that edge he once had over his opponents. However, he surely returned, and not for just any fight, but a fight that became one of the most legendary matches in UFC history. It was a fight between him and the 26-0 lightweight champion from Russia, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The buildup to the show was full of excited fans that couldn’t contain their joy as they witnessed their favorite MMA stars return to the cage and fight it out in an epic match, especially McGregor whose mere appearance has become enough to draw a massive crowd.
Promotions leading up to the fight were surprisingly done on a limited scale by the UFC, as they probably already expected a lot of people to follow the fight regardless of the promotions.
Even though McGregor’s statements against his opponent Khabib had been fiery to say the least, the latter brushed them off as mere words coming out of a drunken man’s mouth (referring to McGregor’s whiskey brand which he promoted throughout the buildup to this fight).
McGregor has been the biggest contributor in building up tension between the two rivals. Back in April of this year, he went to a press conference being held by Nurmagomedov in New York, uninvited, simply to provoke him. He also attacked a bus which was carrying a few UFC fighters by throwing a handcart at the windows, resulting in injuries for some of the players.
Speculations about the winner of the fight started circulating world media, with reputable newspapers such as Business Insider predicting a Khabib win based upon factors such as strength and style of the fighter, and the preparation each one of them had gone through for the cage match.
The UFC 229
When the match started, it quickly became certain who the winner was going to be: it was Khabib with his exceptional fighting prowess who kept Connor under his control for most part of the match, striking blow after blow. By the fourth round, Connor seemed absolutely exhausted by the exchange, and submitted to his opponent soon after, effectively giving the match to Khabib.
Shockingly, the fight did not end with the match. Right after Connor’s submission, Khabib went into another state of mind, and jumped over the cage into the audience to attack one of the coaches on McGregor’s team, Dillon Danis. Following his lead, those in Khabib’s team entered the octagon and started attacking McGregor.
The brawl thankfully subsided after security officials contained the situation and escorted Khabib out of the stadium without awarding him the belt he had earned due to safety reasons.
After the match, Nurmagomedov sat in front of the press and issued a formal apology to the Nevada Athletic Commission as well as to the city of Vegas for his post-match behavior. However, he also highlighted the reasons that prompted him to behave in such a manner, citing McGregor’s consistent comments against his religion, family, and other personal affiliations, and also the bus attack he had made back in April.
The Russian lightweight champion, who now holds a clean 27-0 score with the UFC, returned to Russia to a warm welcome, and also met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin has defended the former’s actions, stating that Khabib was provoked and what transpired happened as a natural consequence of it.
So far, a conclusive action has not been taken by the UFC with respect to a possible suspension of Khabib considering his post-match brawl. Many had speculated that the player could receive a possible ban from the sport at least for a specific time, however so far such a ban has not materialized.
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