In one of the most hyped fights in UFC history, Khabib Nurmagomedov submitted Conor McGregor with 3:03 remaining in the fourth round of UFC 229’s headline match. McGregor accepted the results in an early-Sunday-morning tweet and asked for a rematch:
Good knock. Looking forward to the rematch.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 7, 2018
He also noted on Instagram that “I’ll be back.”
A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on Oct 7, 2018 at 2:58am PDT
Easy enough, right? Of course not. This is the UFC, where nothing’s ever easy.
The fight after the fight
McGregor-Nurmagomedov extends over several months, a movable brawl that included McGregor attacking a bus a few months back, both men yapping at each other during press conferences and weigh-ins and finally Saturday night’s Octagon showdown. Nurmagomedov controlled the entire fight, closing off the official segment of the match in the fourth.
But matters didn’t end there. After the fight ended, Nurmagomedov leaped the fence of the Octagon and went hard at a member of McGregor’s entourage. At the same time, other men entered the cage and began attacking McGregor. The resulting melee was utter chaos, and probably exactly the kind of thing that’ll make the UFC even stronger.
Will there be a rematch?
A McGregor-Nurmagomedov rematch would do phenomenal numbers, if only because everyone would want to see if it devolved again into pandemonium.
“People are going to get arrested tonight,” UFC president Dana White told Nurmagomedov after the chaos calmed down, and the fighter responded, “Put me in jail. No problem.” That’s the kind of publicity the UFC dreams of, and a rematch would promote every bit of the post-fight insanity.
The question, of course, is where the fight would take place. The Nevada Athletic Commission will almost certainly levy sanctions on Nurmagomedov for leaving the Octagon; according to White, the commission is withholding Nurmagomedov’s paycheck. The commission has the power to fine or suspend Nurmagomedov and the length of the suspension will obviously have an impact on the immediate prospects for a rematch.
But UFC 229 will go down as one of the most profitable and most-watched pay-per-views of all time. The people know what they want, and they’ll almost surely get it again.
More UFC 229 coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• Kevin Iole: Crazy scene erupts after Khabib submits Conor
• Dan Wetzel: Despite ugly scene, UFC will gladly cash in
• Khabib says Putin congratulated him after fight
• UFC skips ceremony after Khabib’s attack