UFC 229 is way in the past now. But it’s still one of the most infamous nights in the history of the promotion. After weeks of tension and outright hatred between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagamdov, The Eagle finally got the win over his Irish rival. But it still wasn’t over.
Khabib saw red and impulsively jumped off the cage, launching himself at McGregor’s cornerman Dillon Danis. Now we don’t see much wrong with that because Danis has one of the most punchable faces in the MMA world, but immediately it sparked a brawl between both camps.
Now new footage is going viral across the internet. It shows a closeup of McGregor landing a left hook on Khabib’s teammate Zubaira Tukhugov and leaving him on wobbly legs during the clash between camps. Check out the clip below and see what you think. By coincidence, Tukhugov is fighting at UFC Auckland this weekend.
— I offer you this: (@dave877v) February 17, 2020
In the clip above you can see Tukhugov and Khabib’s cousin Abubakar moving towards McGregor with bad intentions. The Notorious sees them coming and throws out a left hook straight away. It connects cleanly with the Chechnya native and puts him on wobbly legs for a second. But that’s what happens when you invade a cage.
Of course, everybody knows the story of what happened next. McGregor, Khabib, Tukhugov, and Abubakar were all suspended for several months. Dana White called it the ‘worst night’ in the history of the UFC. We’re not quite sure it was that bad. Because it definitely provides them with amazing footage to promote future rematch. It’s all about the dollars at the end of the day.
According to Dana White, McGregor is focused on a rematch with Khabib. Since beating Donald Cerrone he has been linked to a number of match-ups including Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz. With Masvidal expected to fight Kamaru Usman and Khabib booked to fight Tony Ferguson, a trilogy fight against Diaz made sense.
However, according to White, McGregor is happy to sit on the sidelines and wait for the outcome of the Khabib v Ferguson fight. What this means is that the UFC also wants that rematch because it would mean a lot of viewers and a lot of money. White told BT Sport:
“I don’t know (about a third fight with Diaz being next). He’s focused on Khabib. He wants the Khabib fight.”
There’s no doubt that McGregor remains the UFC’s biggest star. Would he be able to beat Khabib in a rematch? Most people don’t think the result would be any different. Even though the lightweight champion has one of the most predictable styles on the roster, so far nobody has been able to stop him.
Of course, the Irishman embraces adversity. We’ve seen him prove doubters wrong many times in the past. But this would be his most impressive achievement yet if he could inflict a first defeat on the unbeaten Dagestani. This isn’t just about winning, it’s about legacy. Both men know this.