Conor McGregor’s anticipated return to the octagon didn’t end the way he or his fans had hoped, as he tapped out during a chokehold from his opponent, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
His loss wasn’t the highlight of the fight, however, as an unbelievable brawl both inside and outside of the octagon occurred after the fight was over.
The Russian champion stepped away from McGregor after he was named victorious, where he then climbed over the cage and scuffled with a fighter in McGregor’s corner.
Members of Nurmagomedov's team climbed into the octagon and attacked McGregor, and McGregor also tried to climb out of the cage during the brawl. Punches were thrown behind McGregor that landed to the back of his head, but he was able to escape before any serious damage was done.
As a result, both McGregor and Nurmagomedov have been temporarily suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for 10 days effective Oct. 15, and while a commission investigation is still pending, the panel can extend the temporary suspension when they meet Oct. 24.
Along with the suspension, Nurmagomedov did not receive his $2 million purse, but UFC President Dana White said that he will not be stripped of the lightweight title.
"You can keep my money that you are withholding," Nurmagomedov posted on social media. "I hope it won't get stuck in your throat."
McGregor received his $3 million purse, which upset Nurmagomedov because McGregor wasn’t punished similarly after he attacked Nurmagomedov’s bus just months before.
During the attack, McGregor busted out windows on the bus, leaving several people hurt and even forced some fighters to withdraw from their fights because they were so badly injured.
UFC president Dana White said three members of Nurmagomedov's camp were detained by police, but were eventually released because McGregor refused to press criminal charges.
“This is a sporting event, if you think you’re going to start a fight once that’s over it becomes a criminal investigation,” White said. “It’s bad for the brand, it’s bad for the sport, it’s bad for both fight camps. I don’t know how anyone can come out looking good from this.”
Saying that it was bad for the brand and the sport is putting it lightly. Not only was it the record for most Pay-Per-View buys at 2.4 million, but all of the fans that White worked so hard to get to follow the sport got to witness one of the most embarrassing moments in sports history.
Promoting fights and hyping it up as fine, but with McGregor and Nurmagomedov both pulling off stunts that resulted in arrests and people injured, they’ve taken it too far and they need to be punished accordingly.
McGregor wasn’t punished for breaking the bus windows, so he’ll probably get a pass here, but Nurmagomedov will face a hefty fine for his actions after the fight, and rightly so.
Just like intentionally hitting people with the ball in baseball, there is just no place in UFC for this kind of behavior. If there wasn’t a massive amount of security present, someone from either Nurmagomedov or McGregor’s team could’ve gotten hurt and the sport would have crumbled into ruins.
Before something like this happens again, UFC needs to set a precedent by punishing Nurmagomedov in order to deter fighters from pulling off a stunt like this in the future. It could save a life.