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Conor McGregor vs Khabib: Irishman calls for rematch after breaking his silence following UFC 229 brawl

Irishman suffered his second UFC defeat of his career and was attacked by three of Khabib’s team immediately after the fight in shocking scenes inside the T-Mobile Arena

Jack de Menezes
Sunday 07 October 2018 15:55 BST
Khabib jumps out the Octagon after beating Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor has called for a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov following his controversial defeat at UFC 229 after speaking publicly for the first time since the night ended in a mass brawl inside the T-Mobile Arena.

The Irishman suffered the second defeat of his UFC career when he tapped out to a fourth-round submission, with Khabib locking in a rear chokehold to secure his 27th victory and keep his unbeaten status as the UFC’s lightweight champion intact.

But the scenes immediately after the fight turned ugly when Khabib jumped over the Octagon fence to attack McGregor’s training partner and Bellator welterweight Dillon Danis, and while a melee broke out outside the Octagon, three of Khabib’s team jumped into it to attack McGregor – who was still recovering from being choked out.

Zubaira Tukhugov, a featherweight with a 3-1 record in the UFC, was one of those involved in the attack on McGregor.

Khabib spoke at the post-fight press conference to apologise for his actions, but defended them by claiming they were a result of the provocation from McGregor, who taunted Khabib for his religion, Russian background and insulted his father.

McGregor did not appear after being allowed to leave the Arena, but he had already elected not to press charges against the three individuals who attacked him, who were all arrested by Las Vegas Police but later released.

Instead, McGregor posted a message on Twitter that simply read: “Good knock. Looking forward to the rematch.”

UFC president Dana White refused to talk about a potential rematch at the press conference as he attempted to pick the bones out of the disgraceful actions that followed the fight, which overshadowed what had been billed as the UFC’s biggest night ever.

“A lot of bad stuff,” White said. “A lot of bad stuff that shouldn’t have happened. All hell broke loose. I don’t even know what to say right now. I’m just disgusted and sick over it.”

McGregor was soundly beaten by his long-term rival (Getty)

“God knows what the NSAC (Nevada State Athletic Commission) is going to do to Khabib and his guys. I think they’re fighters. Will they even get a visa again to get back in this country?

“There’s a lot of repercussions from what they did tonight, ones I don’t even think they realise yet.”

Dana White was furious with Khabib's action (Getty)

However, he did not rule out the prospect of a rematch, saying: "We have to see what happens, it is going to be fines, we have to see how it plays out."

Speaking after White appeared, Khabib said: “I want to say sorry to the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Khabib has to be taken out of the Arena by police (AP)

“This is not my best side. He talked about my religion, my country, my father. He came to Brooklyn, he broke bus and nearly killed two people. So why do people still talk about me jumping over the cage? I have shown respect."

Khabib also said that he had spoken to Russian president Vladimir Putin who said that he was “proud” of him for his victory, before leaving the press conference without taking a question.

More follows…

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