The reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov described exactly how it felt to punch Conor McGregor in the face at UFC 229.
Love him or hate him, the world of MMA and, in particular, the UFC lightweight division will be a much more interesting place once we know the fate of its champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Waiting to be disciplined by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the Dagestan-native has given very little in the way of an indication about who or when he will fight next – although he stated that a nine-to-twelve month suspension is what he is expecting.
Speaking during a fan Q&A event in Melbourne (via Bloody Elbow), Nurmagomedov expressed his thoughts on the post-fight melee that followed the UFC 229 main-event.
“I lost control a little bit. We talk with father before the fight [and he said] ‘we have to be relaxed, don’t listen to him. Just do your thing.’
“And when my father tried to smash me (after the brawl), I told him, ‘Hey, we didn’t talk about after the fight. We only talked about before the fight, so what are we gonna do?’
“But it is what is, it’s what’s happened.”
As for the fight itself, Nurmagomedov couldn’t help but admit that he enjoyed dishing out punishment on the Irishman over the course of the fight’s four-round duration.
“I enjoyed this, when I punched his face. This is a very good feeling, believe me, when someone talks sh-t all the time.
“Every time I punched his face, I enjoyed. I asked him, ‘Hey, let’s talk.’ But at the end of the second or third round, he said ‘This is just business.’ He tried to make me relax.
“This is not sparring session. We’re gonna keep going, you know,” he continued. “Maybe he don’t understand my English, I think.”
Both men are currently in a state of limbo as they wait to figure out what the future holds after the aforementioned post-fight melee that followed UFC 229 but one would have to assume that a second fight will happen before both men hang up their respective gloves.
Their first pairing was by far and way the most lucrative event in the history of mixed martial arts and with the animosity between both parties as strong as ever – do not be surprised if Khabib vs. McGregor II happens in the next few years.
One would hope, though, that both men sign to fight different opponents before then.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena