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Morning Report: Khabib Nurmagomedov says UFC must 'humble' Conor McGregor after Bellator incident

Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib Nurmagomedov

Earlier this month, Conor McGregor madea a surprising return to the cage when he jumped the fence in celebration after his friend Charlie Ward’s victory over John Redmond at Bellator 187. Then, after he was told to exit the cage, McGregor got into an altercation with referee Marc Goddard which involved McGregor shoving the referee.

McGregor would later issue an apology for the incident and the conversation then turned to what, if any, action would be taken by the UFC against McGregor. One of McGregor’s biggest rivals, perhaps surprisingly, defended the lightweight champion, but for one of the Irish superstars rivals who still has designs on fighting McGregor one day, the decision is clear: the UFC must “humble” McGregor for attacking a referee.

Speaking on the Talk and Talker podcast recently, Khabib Nurmagomedov defended McGregor’s antics at Bellator 187 when it was just jumping into the cage, something he admits to doing himself occasionally, but the second-ranked lightweight says once McGregor began going after Goddard, he crossed the line.

“My very good friend fought for a big organization in Europe at 57 kgs, 125 [pounds]. When he win, I do same s**t. I come inside and I hold him because I’m very happy. I’m jumping on the cage, I come inside. A lot of people come inside, my friends, my teammates, because we’re very happy but when referee tells me, ‘Hey, you guys have to go out,’ I don’t try to fight with him because I know referee is not professional fighter, he’s referee. I have to respect rules. But I go crazy a little bit after I understand, ‘Hey, this is not good. I have to stop this,’ and I try to tell my friends, my teammates that we have to go out.

“Sometimes this happens and this organization disqualification 30 percent of his money, but it’s okay. It’s okay. This organization has rules and when we come to the organization we have to follow this. We have to follow rules. So sometimes this happens but 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.”

McGregor has a bit of a history with Goddard as Goddard was the official who ordered him to leave cageside because of his antics during Artem Lobov’s fight with Andre Filli at UFC Gdansk. McGregor also has a history of jumping into the cage, celebrating Lobov’s win on The Ultimate Fighter by jumping into the cage and ripping his pants. For Nurmagomedov, this history of acting out is reason enough for the UFC to “humble” McGregor and reign in some of his antics.

“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.

“When you jump inside the ring, okay, but when you try to fight with referee, this is not good.”

McGregor didn’t only go after Goddard though. While he was trying to get back into the cage after being escorted out, the lightweight champion slapped a Bellator staffer, and this, more than anything, seemed to be the most egregious of offenses to Nurmagomedov.

“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.”

Nurmagomedov began calling for a fight with McGregor after submitting Michael Johnson at UFC 205 last year, saying he wants to “fight with your chicken because this is number one easy fight in lightweight division.” Instead, McGregor went on to box Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Nurmagomedov pulled out of an interim title shot against Tony Ferguson due to weight cut problems. Now, Nurmagomedov faces third-ranked Edson Barboza at UFC 219 on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas, Nevada.


PEDs. CSAC grants Jon Jones a continuance, steroid hearing pushed back to February.

Injuries. Jose Aldo vows to “smother” Max Holloway at UFC 218.

Motivation. Max Holloway questions Jose Aldo’s motivation heading into UFC 218.

No. Tyron Woodley is preparing to fight Nate Diaz until he is officially told “no.”

165. Shoot Brazil adopts new weight classes, will crown super lightweight champion.


KO of the Week.

Freddie on GSP’s boxing.

Mir saying Fedor is still very dangerous.

Looking at Justin Gaethje.

Oezdemir got animated.


30 for 30. ESPN did a 30 for 30 pod on the start of the UFC.

The MMA Circus. UFC Sydney recap and UFC Shanghai preview.

Obviously Fight Talk. UFC Shanghai preview.


The No Time sobriquet is really gonna get a workout over the next few months.

DC clearly reads the finest websites.

OSP making his case for a title shot.


Trying to jump in line.

Can’t fault a man for trying.

Make that two KOs.

Still beating this dead horse.

Goldie wants Carwin in Bellator.

Good guy Stipe.




Felipe Douglas (13-3) vs. Carlos Silva (10-1); Shoot Brazil, Nov. 26.

Luke Sanders (11-1) vs. Andre Soukhamthath (11-5); UFC Fresno, Dec. 9.

Yoshitaka Naito (12-0) vs. Alex Silva (6-1); ONE Championship, Dec. 9.

Shannon Wiratchai (8-1, 1 NC) vs. Rasul Yakhyaev (10-6, 1 NC); ONE Championship, Dec. 9.

Jimmie Rivera (21-1) vs. John Lineker (30-8); UFC 219, Dec. 30.

Paige VanZant (7-3) vs. Jessica-Rose Clarke (8-4, 1 NC); UFC St. Louis, Jan. 14.


That’s it for today. Have a good one and see y’all tomorrow.



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