It was the biggest rivalry in the entire history of the UFC. Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Two of the best fighters in the organisation, who have a palpable hatred for each other. A tension perfectly exploited by the UFC in the preparation for their fight. The first press conference with the two men reflected their chaotic relationship, and after one last tense face-to-face encounter during the unofficial weighing-in, nothing could stop these two monsters from entering the octagon the following day.
During this main event at UFC 229, Khabib Nurmagomedov quickly gained the upper hand over Conor McGregor, mobilising his attacks to shut down the latter's strikes. A strategy that paid off, since the Irishman was only able to get his head above water in the third round. During the championship round, Khabib controlled the ground again, and with a choke-out was able to keep his undisputed champion’s belt.
When the fight was over, there was no way for the two men to part ways with a hug. After yet another provocation by Dillon Danis, Notorious' training partner, the Russian lost it and jumped into the crowd to take the matter into his own hands. A poor decision, which leads to a general scrum involving the teams of both fighters.
One year after the biggest fight in the history of the UFC, tensions are still present, but less so. Conor McGregor is fighting for a rematch, while Khabib Nurmagomedov has just defended his belt against Dustin Poirier, winning again by submission. In a recent interview, The Eagle out spoke about his feelings towards the Irishman. The latter has admitted that he is able to forgive but refuses for the moment to shake hands with the former two-time UFC champion.
‘I'm not ready to shake his hand right now. Everyone makes mistakes. There are no perfect people, everyone has flaws. I have flaws and so does he. When a person continues to behave in this way, it means that it is his or her nature. We all saw that he just hit a 70-year-old man. This shows a lack of morality and morals. So I'm not ready to shake his hand until he does something. Apologies must always be accepted, no matter what he said. If a person apologizes and accepts his mistakes, we must forgive them.’