MAKHACHKALA, October 8. /TASS/. One of the team members of Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor insulted Russia’s Khabib Nurmagomedov during the match and egged him on, his father and coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov told TASS.
Nurmagomedov defeated McGregor during the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 229 tournament in Las Vegas on Saturday, defending his lightweight title. After the fight, a mass brawl broke out between the teams of both fighters, including Nurmagomedov, who jumped out of the cage and attempted to beat up one of the Irish opponent’s team members for insulting him. A member of Nurmagomedov’s team, Esedulla Emirgayev, was among those taken into custody by police.
"A coach from McGregor’s team constantly posted photos of Khabib with wine, drinking and pouring it, he painted Khabib in this light. He insulted our family, our values and our religion. I asked Khabib not to touch anyone and to steer clear of them, saying that he has a rival and he must concentrate on him. When Khabib submitted McGregor, he looked at the coaches, and that man started insulting him, and then Khabib jumped out of the Octagon, and this is inadmissible and undesirable," the father said.
The fighter’s father hopes that the Nevada Athletic Commission would only fine Khabib.
UFC President Dana White earlier said Nurmagomedov could be stripped of his lightweight title in the event of a lengthy suspension.
On Sunday, Nurmagomedov apologized for his behavior after the fight at a news conference. "I want to say [I’m] sorry to [the] Athletic Commission [in] Nevada, [I’m] sorry to Vegas…I know this is not my best side, you know this is not my best side, you know I’m a human being. And I [don’t] understand how people can talk about [why] I jumped [over] the cage. What about [how] he talked about my religion, he talked about my country, he talked about my father… This is a respect[ful] sport, this is not a trash-talking sport… like I told you before guys... I want to change this game," Nurmagomedov said.
The victory over McGregor was the 11th in Nurmagomedov’s career in the UFC. The Russian defeated his opponents in all of his 27 fights. The 30-year-old Nurmagomedov, hailing from Russia’s North Caucasus Region of Dagestan, was the first Russian to win the UFC champion title during the fight against his US opponent Al Iaquinta this April.