Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov submitted his bitter rival Conor McGregor in the fourth round tonight at UFC 229, but the bigger talking point will be the choatic scenes that followed afterwards.
The title fight billed as the biggest in UFC history is underway in Las Vegas!
McGregor with a quick left hand early as he pressures forward. Low kick for McGregor. Khabib works a takedown but McGregor is doing a very good job of defending this so far.
Nurmagomedov is relentless though, so despite McGregor’s crafty defense, the champion does eventually get McGregor down against the cage and wraps the Irish superstar’s legs to keep him down.
McGregor with his back against the cage. Nurmagomedov not working much offense so far, but he is controlling the action with authority.
McGregor trying to work the occasional strike and attempting to find ways back to his feet, but with Nurmagomedov doing a good job of controlling his legs that’s difficult.
Closing in on a minute to go in the round Khabib progresses to half guard. He lands a few left hands to the head, but is still pacing himself and focusing on control rather than damage right now.
McGregor staying patient underneath his rival here and not getting to frantic in his attempts to get out from underneath him. Khabib lands an elbow and a hard punch to end the round.
Jumping front kick from McGregor to start but it doesn’t connect. He tries for a superman punch but misses and then tries for a knee.
Right hand for Nurmagomedov staggers MCGregor backwards. He responds with a knee. Unexpected action there and then Khabib tags McGregor again with punches. McGregor responds, firing off an uppercut as they both unleash strikes.
However, Nurmagomedov then switches things up, going back to the expected takedown game and gets him flat on his back and then is soon able to pass to full mount.
He doesn’t stay there for long, but he’s dominant on top here. Nurmamagodov starting to work big ground and pound now, dropping down heavy punches and ‘The Notorious’ is in full defensive mode here.
Relentless punches being landed here and the referee is starting to look closely at this. McGregor survives, but he’s taken a lot of punches to the head unanswered here. Khabib works a kimura, but McGregor escapes.
McGregor does well to stand up against the cage. Nurmagomedov presses him against the cage, but doesn’t go too hard for another takedown.
The round ends with McGregor grinning at Khabib, but he looks winded as he goes back to his corner.
McGregor eaves on Khabib to start the third round. McGregor tries for an uppercut, but it misses. One-two for the Irishma.
Right hand flashes out for Nurmagomedov. Body punch for McGregor. Left hand for him too and then a front kick to the body.
Leg kick for Khabib. The champion goes for a takedown, but McGregor stuffs it. In the clinch McGregor lands an elbow. As they move away Nurmagomedov lands a punch.
Punch from Nurmagomedov to set up the takedown attempt, but McGregor does well to stay upright. Khabib continuing to press him into the cage though.
McGregor with a knee and gets space. He lands a strike that gets the crowd excited. McGregor lands a punch. Short counter from McGregor.
Body punch for McGregor. Khabib uses punches to set up a takedown, but crucially McGregor defends it again. Soon after Nurmagomedov is back into the clinch and looking for a takedown, and he manages to trip him to the mat, but only momentarily.
Standing back up he’s unable to break away from Nurmagomedov’s cage clinch though. Final 30 seconds of the round. Short knee to the body from McGregor. He gets some space and lands another knee before getting sucked into the clinch again.
Khabib not happy that McGregor is holding his glove immediately during the grappling exchange.
One-two from Khabib. Now a one-two lands for McGregor. Front kick to the body from McGregor. It lands again. Khabib just misses with a hard right hook.
jab lands for Nurmagomedov. Another grazing punch and then he drives into a takedown. Against the cage Nurmagomedov does get the Irishman down.
McGregor does well to get to his feet, but Nurmagomedov stays heavy on him and drags him back down on top of him and then scrambles to get on top almost in full mount.
McGregor trying to buck him off and does so momentarily, but Nurmagomedov is soon back in full mount. He’s setting up a rear-naked choke finish and it’s in very tight, almost verging on a neck crank. McGregor grimaces and then taps out, Nurmagomedov has won by submission against his greatest rival with 3.03mins of the fourth round gone!
Nurmagomedov is furious at McGregor even in victory and shouts at him in the moments after the fight.
Things then spiral completely out of control as Khabib starts shouting at McGregor’s cornermen outside the Octagon. He then vaults the cage and charges at McGregor’s BJJ coach Dillon Danis, which sparks a brawl involving multiple people.
To make matters worse, a member of Khabib’s team then jumps into the cage and suckerpunches McGregor, sparking even more choatic scenes though the Irishman doesn’t retaliate.
Eventually things are calmed down, but McGregor is ushered out of the arena by security and then despite Nurmagomedov getting back into the Octagon and demanding his belt he too is ordered to leave the Octagon by Dana White, after which Bruce Buffer finally reads out the result.
Chaotic scenes then that cast the sport in a bad light after the biggest fight in the history of the UFC and there’s likely to be wide-reaching repercussions for Khabib Nurmagomedov amongst others as a result.