For most of the fight, it did not look good for McGregor and Nurmagomedov was on him the whole time. McGregor tapped out in the fourth round, and Nurmagomedov kept his undefeated record.
After the fight, chaos erupted as Nurmagomedov began fighting with various parties outside the cage. Commentators also said someone in Nurmagomedov's party also attacked McGregor, despite the fact that he had just been defeated.
This was McGregor's first time inside a UFC octagon since November 2016, when he won the UFC Lightweight Championship by defeating Eddie Alvarez. McGregor then soured on the sport for a time, choosing to focus on professional boxing. In August 2017, he fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. in an anticipated fight that ended with Mayweather keeping his undefeated record.
In April 2018, the UFC stripped McGregor of both the Lightweight and Featherweight Championships because of his inactivity. Nurmagomedov took the Lightweight Championship during UFC 223, and had a perfect 26-0 record before the fight with McGregor.
Heading into the fight, McGregor was filled with his usual confidence, even though he was facing an undefeated challenger. McGregor's own record heading into the fight stood at 21-3.
"It's all good to me," the Irish fighter said during the press conference before the match. "Khabib was saying stuff but I don't care. He didn't have the balls to stay here a couple of minutes late. And he will look for an exit in the fight, too. I'm here for the fans. For the atmosphere. But you know the one thing better than money? More money. I'm only 30 so I'm a young fighter compared to the rest in the game. I'm here for a good while yet."
Nurmagomedov was also not short on confidence. The Russian fighter told McGregor, "Tomorrow night, I'm going to smash your boy, guys. I'm going to smash your boy. And I want to say thank you all Irish fans, all fans around the world. Because of you guys, this fight is happening."
Both fighters will take home millions of dollars for the fight. During the press conference, McGregor predicted he would make over $50 million thanks to the Pay-Per-View revenue.
“For a mixed martial artist to make $50 million in a mixed martial arts (MMA) bout, it is quite breathtaking," McGregor said Thursday. "I’ve got to thank my management at Paradigm, I have to thank Dana White and thank Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta for schooling me in this game. And the new owners at WME-IMG. I haven’t really met those guys but they have been good to me so far.”
During a sit-down with Conan O'Brien during this past week, McGregor admitted that Nurmagomedov will be a challenging fighter to face, but he was confident he could beat him.0comments
"Fighting, in the whole picture, there is many more facets to fighting than just one single discipline," McGregor explained. "Thankfully now I am not locked in to one specific rule set, similar to my last match. I am free to fight as I please so that's what I'll do. I have many, many weapons to dismantle all styles of opponent, and this is just another style of opponent."
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