With UFC 228 now in the books, it’s time for the Khabib vs. McGregor hype train to leave the station.
UFC 205 on November 12 of 2016 took place at a peculiar time, with an already claustrophobic New York City reaching fever pitch.
Just a few days prior, Donald Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States. To say the least, this was an unpopular outcome to many, with crowds of people surrounding Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue voicing their dismay, even on the 12th.
Just down the road at Madison Square Garden, another crowd was baying for blood, this time in the Octagon.
A certain Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Michael Johnson in dominant fashion after an early scare in the prelims, and made his infamous ‘Irish: only six million, Russia: 150 million’ speech afterwards.
Later that evening, 145lb. king Conor McGregor took to the cage to face lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, attempting to become the first holder of two UFC belts simultaneously.
The eight minute contest was ‘The Notorious’ at his mercurial, vicious best.
The emphatic beatdown secured his place in history, but McGregor has yet to step inside the Octagon 22 months on from that fateful night.
Until now. Nurmagomedov has long since shed his prelim status, and is now the deserved 155lb. champion, having dominated Edson Barboza and Al Iaquinta in the interim.
He welcomes McGregor back at UFC 229 on October 9, and as far as homecomings go, it doesn’t get any tougher for the Irishman.