In MMA history, a handful of nights just stand out from the pack. UFC 229: Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor is undeniably one of those occasions.
With the UFC Lightweight Title on the line, Nurmagomedov reigned supreme, submitting McGregor in the 4th round. However, the drama only began there, with now unforgettable chaos then ensuing. In an extended interview with Tony Robbins, McGregor even deemed the insanity “the real fight,” explaining its intricacy in further detail.
“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,” Conor claimed. “I like to call it ‘scurried away,’ because they’re little rats, they are. I’ll being honest. He scurried away.
“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 respect it. I was defeated on the night.” Regardless of that respect, McGregor maintains his critique of Nurmagomedov’s supposed cowardice.
“He jumped in to cause this chaos and went to attack. He was trying to just hide away when he jumped in, so he didn’t really do anything . . . 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. I smacked him right in the eye socket, and we started fighting on top of the cage. It got broken up.
“We ended up in the cage then. He was trying to get past the security. I was just kind of watching everything. I am very self-defense minded through growing up. I know where my entrances and my exits are. I’m very aware of my surroundings,” McGregor explained. “So I backed myself up against the cage wall, where I thought I was good.
“And what happened was, two of his teammates ran and jumped over, right behind me. And for me, with my mind-set, 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 threats and deal with it. They came right over my back, right over my back.
“One of them, 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?’,” McGregor recalled. “I don’t know what he was saying, but then he turned back and saw me. But I had already saw him, so as he turned back, boom – I smacked him. He wobbled. And as I smacked him and rocked him, another one jumped in from over the back, and he sly-hooked me from the side. And then I covered up.
“That got separated, and then 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 towards me. He threw a right hand. As he threw that right hand, I threw a left hand. 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! So that’s it. I win.”
Regardless of McGregor’s memory of the post-fight exchange, his official MMA record shows a loss opposite Nurmagomedov. He remains interested in a rematch though, seemingly his ideal comeback fight after supposedly retiring earlier this year. Few believed McGregor’s announcement though, with Dana White recently suggesting that the Irishman will return this summer. Whenever he does indeed return, the memory of UFC 229 will be no more distant, a night that’s unlikely to be forgotten for many years to come.