Combat Sports

Combat Sports

Khabib Nurmagomedov retained his lightweight championship at UFC 229 in Las Vegas, but not without some post-match ugliness.

The San Jose-based fighter beat Conor McGregor in the fourth round via submission to retain the lightweight championship, and he jumped out of the cage immediately after the fight to attack the Irishman's corner. 

Nurmagomedov, a 30-year-old Russian, won the first round 10-9, dropping McGregor to the ground with a right-handed punch less than 30 seconds into the bout and controlling it from the start.

Khabib won the second round -- 10-8 -- but lost the third, and dropped a round for the first time in his career. 

In the fourth, Khabib got McGregor in a rear-naked choke, forcing the former two-belt UFC champion to tap out. Nurmagomedov, who trains out of American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, improved to 11-0 in the UFC and 27-0 overall in his professional career.

Khabib didn't immediately release McGregor from his rear-naked choke, which appeared to agitate the Irish star. Khabib then threw his mouthpiece at McGregor's corner and climbed out of the octagon to fight a member of the Irishman's corner -- as the bad blood between the fighters boiled over.

 

A member of Nurmagomedov's corner then seemingly tried to attack McGregor. 

UFC president Dana White wouldn't hand Nurmagomedov his championship belt in the octagon, for fear of causing additional chaos at T-Mobile Arena. White told reporters that three members of Nurmagomedov's team were arrested following the post-fight fracas, but he later said McGregor wouldn't press charges against them. 

There were other repercussions for Khabib, though.

Saturday marked McGregor's first UFC fight in nearly two years. He won the lightweight championship at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 12, 2016, beating Eddie Alvarez in a second-round TKO. The win made McGregor the first fighter in UFC history to simultaneously hold titles in two different weight classes.

McGregor didn't fight in the UFC last year, and instead boxed against Floyd Mayweather in a pay-per-view match in August. The UFC officially stripped McGregor of his lightweight title on April 7, days after McGregor attacked a bus that Nurmagomedov was on ahead of UFC 223. Two people were injured, and McGregor pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge disorderly conduct after he initially faced two felony chargers. 

Nurmagomedov won McGregor's old title at UFC 223, beating Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision to take the lightweight championship. He entered the night a heavy favorite, as Las Vegas oddsmakers pegged him at minus-170 headed into the fight, according to Bovada.