The trash talk leading up to UFC 229’s main card was legendary. And for necessarily for the right reasons. In his post-fight press conference, a contrite Khabib Nurmagomedov lamented a time when MMA fighting was built on respect. He admonished McGregor’s obscene use of family, nationality and religion in his pre-fight rhetoric and the media for not only tolerating but glorifying it through their journalism.
The Russian wants respect to be brought back to the fore in the UFC, so much so that he knew that his own actions had further tarnished the sport’s integrity. Seen by outsiders as mere thuggery, the UFC has a lot to answer for as two of its biggest names lead the charge to chaos. Khabib said that his father would ‘smash’ him for his behaviour bringing his own name down in the eyes of the world.
Remaining professional and tight-lipped in the pre-fight trash talking exchanges, Khabib promised to let his fighting do the talking. A promised he kept. Beating McGregor in a grossly one-sided affair, Khabib managed to, several times, get the Irishman to the deck, only to see him somehow reach the bell at every round, living to fight on.
When you think about this, in many ways the chickens came home to roost. You teach people there are no consequences for their actions and then get mad when people act like they are no consequences for their actions.
— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) October 7, 2018
Unfortunately, as we all know, the fight was overshadowed by the post-fight antics, two of the biggest voices in UFC coverage made some very poignant tweets. The focus of the posts was the unfortunate circumstances under which the event will be remembered. No one will remember the masterful fighting display as much as the post-fight drama.
In one particular exchange, their heads close together in the grapple, Nurmagomedov seized his opportunity to mentally batter McGregor who by that point must have been somewhat regretting his words and cockiness in the lead-up. Fans close to the action reported hearing the three chilling words in a thick Russian accent as Khabib tightened his grip. See the moment on the player below: