Chael Sonnen gives Conor McGregor a pass for swinging at Khabib's cousin
Former UFC Middleweight contender Chael Sonnen has said that he was okay with Conor McGregor swinging at Khabib Nurmagomedov's cousin Abubakar during the post-fight melee at UFC 229 on Saturday.
McGregor's Jiu-Jitsu coach Dillon Danis was at the centre of a heated brawl after Khabib Nurmagomedov's fourth-round submission win over the Dubliner in Las Vegas with the Russian fighter scaling the fence to attack Danis only seconds after referee Herb Dean put an end to the contest.
you can see CLEARLY at :39 seconds that Conor climbs the cage after Khabib and THROWS THE FIRST PUNCH AT A CIVILIAN (Khabib team member) before any “Islamic terrorist ambush (MMA writers’ words)” happens. THIS is why @TheNotoriousMMA didn’t press charges. https://t.co/LYfdcjNSpa
— Roy Drones Jr (@chiweethedog) October 7, 2018
McGregor can be seen climbing the fence and throwing a punch at Abubakar Nurmagomedov, Khabib's cousin and a fellow UFC fighter.
Sonnen said that he had no problems with McGregor punching Abubakar who seemed to be blindsided by the shot and that he does not believe a fight begins with who throws the first punch.
"He jumps on the Octagon and Conor throws a punch at him," said Sonnen.
"Again, I must tell you, form your own opinion on this, you guys be the jury, but I'll just tell you for me, I give Conor a pass for that too. I do not believe, and I never have in my life, that a fight begins with who throws the first punch.
"I think that is what the law says I just personally don't believe it. I believe a fight starts when an aggressor is within arms' reach of you. I believe that is when you have the ability to protect yourself and make sure that he does not get any closer.
"Conor throws a punch and all hell breaks loose. Then Conor drops down inside the Octagon, relevant to the story, and two guys come into the Octagon and hit him in the back of the head.
"Conor doesn't know what's going on. He was just in a melee for damn near 20 minutes with the best fighter in the world."
Abubakar said that he hit McGregor twice in retaliation and that his papakha (a wool hat worn by men through Caucasus, a region of Eastern Europe and Western Asia) prevented him from firing more shots at the former champion.
“In short, I climbed onto the cage. This Irish bastard hit me. But I didn’t hold back either. Bam, boom! – I gave [him] two,” Abubakar, says in the video his native language. Adding:
"The papakha prevented [me], there was a papakha in my left hand.”