Khabib Nurmagomedov was with Conor McGregor... until he went after Marc Goddard
Khabib Nurmagomedov can relate to some of Conor McGregor's antics at Bellator Dublin.
UFC lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov has leapt into a cage to celebrate with a teammate before. Even though he knew it was against the rules, 'The Eagle' was so overcome with emotion that he felt compelled to jump in, a bit like Conor McGregor following Charlie Ward's scrap with John Redmond.
The difference is, when an official tells him to exit the cage, Nurmagomedov complies, as he explained during a recent interview on the Talk and Talker podcast.
"I don’t understand why he tried to fight with referee. I don’t understand it. One time, if you try with him it’s okay but you see these guys don’t want fight with you and he cannot fight with you. Why would you try more and more? I don’t understand this one. When you come to inside the cage because you’re very happy about your friend’s win, it’s okay but try to fight with referee, this is not good.”
“He's acting like a fucking asshole!” https://t.co/Yd78HPV6nO
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) November 16, 2017
As for slapping that Bellator employee in the face, Nurmagomedov believes the situation would have been very different if a fighter had been trying to prevent McGregor from reentering the cage.
“Why he don’t slap me when we go very close like UFC 205? Because he understands I don’t stop. Maybe he slaps him because he understands he’s not fighter, he cannot give him back."
“I never slap somebody if this guy cannot fight with me... You cannot fight with me. I can kill you. I can punch you and I can take you down and smash your face. You have to stay relaxed. Sometimes you have to say this because you’re a professional athlete and you can kill people.”
This cannot go unpunished https://t.co/R44KNX5Io5
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) November 12, 2017
Nurmagomedov is no dummy, he understands that a large part of McGregor's appeal to the mainstream audience are his unpredictable antics. However, he beleives that his star power should not make him above the law. He feels the UFC need to 'humble' him for this latest controversy.
“Yes, it’s okay, but not all the time. He does this all the time. In Ultimate Fighter show, in Bellator show, I don’t understand why he can do but other guys cannot do. Because he’s Conor McGregor? He cannot do this. The UFC has to make him humble a little bit because other guys say, ‘Oh, Conor do this? He can do this but why I not?’ This is why sometimes you have to follow rules when you’re a big name, because a lot of people are watching you."
The UFC have yet to make any comment on McGregor's actions at Bellator 187.