The "illegal" Conor McGregor move that drove Khabib over the edge 4 years ago

The "illegal" Conor McGregor move that drove Khabib over the edge

This absolutely infuriated Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Why did Nurmagomedov completely lose the plot during and after his UFC 229 victory over Conor McGregor? There are a heap of reasons (some included below) but there were three incidents during the third round that drove him over the edge.


Pre-fight reasons:

  • McGregor's Brooklyn bus attack
  • McGregor calling his opponent a 'mad backwards c**t'
  • McGregor calling Nurmagomedov's father a coward
  • McGregor mocked Nurmagomedov's countrymen

Those are the first four that spring to mind, but Nurmagomedov was clearly fired up going into his first ever UFC lightweight title defence.

Once the fight got underway, 'The Eagle' held sway over McGregor for long periods and even rocked the Dubliner with a hammer blow in the second round. While McGregor was on the mat, he was warned about clinging onto the cage with his toes.


At one stage, the Dagestani had McGregor's left arm in his grips and was threatening to break it as he yelled out:

"Just quit. Just quit!"

McGregor, as he tried to ride out the storm, was guilty of a knee, from the ground, to the head of Nurmagomedov. Dominick Cruz, on co-commentary for the UFC, called the move "illegal". Referee Herb Dean let that one slide and handed out no warnings at the end of the round.

The third round saw McGregor frustrate the champion and land some telling blows of his own. All three judges scored the round in his favour, the first round that has ever gone against Nurmagomedov in his UFC career.


'The Notorious' repelled a few takedown attempts in the third. In frustrating his opponent, McGregor pulled what Tyron Woodley and Michael Bisping both called 'a veteran move'. He grabbed onto Nurmagomedov's gloves so he could not raise his arms.

As the round ended, the champion stalked after McGregor and had to be pushed away by the referee.

On commentary, Joe Rogan said, "Well, Conor was grabbing the gloves. That's illegal. The hooking of the gloves is illegal."


Nurmagomedov was livid and, as his corner tried to calm him down and give fourth round instructions, he called out to Dean:

"Three times he do it. Three times... You say to him 'Two times' and he still [does it]."

The fight went on deep into the fourth round until Nurmagomedov secured another take-down that McGregor did not come back from.

The neck crank was applied and McGregor tapped but that was only the start. Nurmagomedov lept from The Octagon and confronted member's of McGregor's team before 'The Notorious' was attacked by several of the champion's entourage.

Bisping later told FOX Sports that any lawyer defending Nurmagomedov, in potential cases, should claim that the fighter had "temporary insanity" after the bout.