It’s been more than seven months since Conor McGregor stepped into the Octagon to do battle with Khabib Nurmagomedov but that simmering rivalry has never died down.
A rematch between them almost seems like a certainty at some point down the road, especially after the post fight brawl that broke out just seconds after Nurmagomedov defeated McGregor by fourth round rear naked choke.
In the aftermath of that melee, McGregor and Nurmagomedov were suspended and faced fines from the Nevada State Athletic Commission as a result. In fact, Nurmagomedov remains suspended until July when he will finally be eligible to resume his career after instigating the brawl when he jumped over the cage to go after McGregor’s teammate, Dillon Danis.
They say time heals all wounds but it’s hard to do when the scab keeps getting ripped off as McGregor recently recounted his side of the post fight brawl when talking to motivational guru Tony Robbins on his podcast.
When asked to describe what happened that infamous night, McGregor detailed his side of the story including the punches thrown between him and Nurmagomedov’s teammates.
“So what happened was, the fight was done, the match was done. [Khabib] climbed over the fence and jumped into the crowd to make a bit of noise but as soon as he jumped into the crowd he cowered away. I like to call it ‘scurried away’ cause they’re little rats they are, being honest,” McGregor said (initially reported by Pundit Arena).
“I gave my respect and congrats, he won the match — let’s see what happens next time. I’m confident we’ll get it again, let’s go again. I am humble in victory or defeat no matter what. It’s a sport at the end of the day, a gruesome sport, but it’s a sport. So I respected it, I was defeated on the night. He jumped in to cause this chaos and went to attack but really he was trying to just hide away when he really didn’t want anything.”
McGregor says once Nurmagomedov was over the cage wall, he jumped up to the top of the Octagon as well and that’s when he got into the altercation with the Russian’s teammates.
“I saw this take place, I got up off the ground and said ‘ok, now I’m back in the mix’, jumped on top of the cage, as I jumped on top of the cage, his brother came sprinting across and jumped up on top of the cage also to climb in and help him and join the fight,” McGregor said. “I seen him there and it was like a Christmas present.
“He was right there, I smacked him right in the eye socket and we started fighting on top of the cage. It got broken up.”
Once McGregor jumped down off the cage, he says he specifically positioned himself against the fence to deal with anybody coming back at him and that’s when the second fight broke out.
“We ended up in the cage then, he was trying to get past the security. I was kind of just watching everything. I am very self-defense-minded through growing up. I know where my entrances and my exits are and I am very aware of my surroundings. When the fight was breaking out and I knew there were people in and out, there were a lot of rogue people and I wasn’t aware of who was with who, who was with security, who’s who?” McGregor said.
“So I backed myself up against the cage wall, where I thought I was good. What happened was, two of his teammates ran and jumped over right behind me. For me, with my mindset, it was fascinating for me to watch that back because I got to a safe place, I was good. I got to a place where I was aware and I could see any incoming threat and deal with it. They came right over my back, right over my back. The first one, the Chechen man, ran in front of me and went over to the brother that got smacked and was like ‘what happened’ and then turned back and saw me. But I had already saw him so as he turned back. Boom! I smacked him. He wobbled. As I smacked him and rocked him, another one jumped over the back and he sly-hooked me from the side and then I covered up.”
The last shot thrown according to McGregor came during a second incident with Nurmagomedov’s teammate who was on top of the cage with him. Following that final punch, security had finally gotten their hands around the situation.
“The final one was the original brother who was on the top of the cage, he broke free from the security, ran at 100 miles an hour at towards me,” McGregor stated.
“He threw a right hand. As he threw that right hand I threw a left. Boom! There’s an image, an aerial image, of the right hand just whipping by my face and my left hand just landing flush down the pipe! The final blow of the night! That’s it. I win.”
McGregor laughed about that final jab but nobody won in that situation with both fighters being fined and suspended for their roles in that melee.
As for a potential rematch, McGregor is still pushing for it to happen in the future but Nurmagomedov isn’t sitting around and waiting for another shot at the Irishman. Instead, he’s preparing for a showdown against interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier in a title unification bout that’s currently rumored for UFC 242 in September.