Khabib Nurmagomedov blames opponent's offensive remarks about his Muslim faith for post-fight brawl

Culture & Entertainment
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor face off during a press conference for UFC 229 at Radio City Music Hall. Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

 

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) champion Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Conor McGregor for the lightweight title at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), becoming the first Muslim to win the title.  However, Nurmagomedov said he was sorry for the post-fight brawl but insisted he was provoked as McGregor made inflammatory comments about his religion.

“This is not my best side. He talked about my religion, my country, my father,” media reports quoted Nurmagomedov as saying.

Soon after the fight, held at Las Vegas, he jumped out of the cage and attacked one of McGregor's teammates. In the scramble followed, a cornerman of Nurmagomedov landed a sharp punch on an unsuspecting McGregor.

Nurmagomedov defeated McGregor in the fourth round of their fight for the UFC lightweight championship.

The Russian floored the Dubliner with a massive right hand before pinning him to the canvas and unleashing a succession of big punches. He took the former two-weight champion's back and sank in the choke to stretch his professional record to 27-0 and hand the Irishman his second defeat in the UFC, Reuters reported. 

The 30-year-old Nurmagomedov, a father of a daughter and a son, is a Muslim Avar from the Islamic Republic of Dagestan located in the North Caucasus.

The champion’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, is his trainer. He started training his son in the art of Sambo (hand to hand fighting) and freestyle wrestling, something the Caucasian peoples are well known for, at a very young age.

Nurmagomedov’s training progressed further when his family moved to Makhachkala, the capital city of Dagestan; he trained in wrestling, combat Sambo, and Judo.

Nurmagomedov is a devout Muslim. He told Los Angeles Times that his faith is the most important thing in his life.

“You go to mosque because nobody’s perfect. Everybody makes mistakes, and we have to ask Allah to forgive us. This is very important mentally, to be clear with Allah. This is not about the UFC. There is nothing else more important to me than being clear with Allah. And being clear with Allah is the No. 1 most hard thing in life,” Los Angeles Times quoted Nurmagomedov as saying.

Khabib Nurmagomedov

Khabib Nurmagomedov during a press conference for UFC 229 at Radio City Music Hall. Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

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