Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov retained his UFC lightweight title with a submission win over Conor McGregor on Saturday.
Khabib had mauled former two-weight champion McGregor before the Irishman tapped out to a rear naked choke hold in the fourth round, but that was quickly forgotten in the following melee.
Angry fans of the two fighters brawled in the concourses of the arena as police and security staff struggled to maintain any semblance of order, and violent scuffles continued into the night around the Las Vegas strip.
At a press conference after the match, Khabib said his violent surge toward McGregor’s team was triggered by racist remarks McGrehor had, in the lead-up to the fight, made against his family.
“He talk about my religion, he talk about my country, he talk about my father, he come to Brooklyn and he broke bus, he almost killed a couple people – what about this?” he asked reporters.
UFC boss, Dana White, suggested Khabib could face sanctions following the incident, saying it would be up to the Nevada State Athletic Commission to decide if Nurmagomedov would face further sanctions.
But, who is this man Khabib? The Press Association Sport looks at five things you may not know about the 30-year-old Dagestani:
1 Distinctive headwear
Nurmagomedov distinguishes himself by donning a sizeable woolly hat when he weighs in as well as immediately before and after his bouts. The item of clothing is known as a papakha (pronounced puh-pah-hah) and is traditionally worn by men throughout the Caucasus. Nurmagomedov’s particular brand is seemingly in tribute to his Avar roots and is made of shaggy sheep’s skin and wool, then adjusted with a basic rope.
2 Best of enemies
Almost four years ago to the day, Nurmagomedov paid tribute to McGregor after the Irishman dispatched Dustin Poirier to move one step closer to the UFC featherweight title. The respect between both fighters was quite evident here but that has given way to outright hostility in the intervening years as they have become rivals. The enmity took on a personal edge in April following McGregor’s bus attack in apparent response to his friend Artem Lobov’s confrontation with Nurmagomedov.
3 Streak and records
The UFC’s first Russian-born champion extended the longest unbeaten streak in mixed martial arts by beating McGregor, having defeated all 26 of his previous opponents – 10 by decision and eight knockouts and stoppages apiece. Nurmagomedov also holds the UFC record for number of takedowns in a single fight, managing to bring Abel Trujillo to the mat on 21 occasions out of 27 attempts in their three-round contest in May 2013.
Nurmagomedov has built up quite a following on social media and Instagram, in particular. He is quite prolific on the platform with more than 3,000 posts and has amassed six million followers, with only McGregor boasting a greater number among UFC fighters. Many of Nurmagomedov’s updates centre on the day job, his training habits and his Muslim faith.
5 Real football fan
Real Madrid fan Nurmagomedov was invited to attend the Spanish giants’ LaLiga fixture against Real Sociedad in February. Real ran out 5-2 winners thanks to a hat-trick from Cristiano Ronaldo, who signed his jersey and presented the shirt and a ball to Nurmagomedov. In return, Nurmagomedov gave the Portuguese talisman, now at Juventus, one of his papakha hats. Nurmagomedov also supports Anzhi Makhachkala in the Russian Premier League.
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