McGregor’s next move revealed as ‘war goes on’
THE reaction most expected to the one-sided match between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov - and the chaotic post-fight clashes - looks on the cards.
That is: No respite in the bitter feud between the two fighters - and a rematch.
UFC president Dana White concedes there's a bit to play out before he can get the two 155-pounders back in the cage given Nurmagomedov's role in a brawl that occurred outside the Octagon.
But McGregor has already called to demand another shot at the Russian's title.
"(Nurmagomedov) has to go before the Nevada commission, and we have to see what's going to happen with Khabib and this whole mess," White told ESPN.
"But McGregor has already called me, wanting a rematch. That's what Conor has asked for. We'll see what happens with Khabib and what's next."
Before the fight the Irishman declared his pursuit of Nurmagomedov and his team wouldn't end at UFC 229.
"Every one of them can get it," he told ESPN. "It's never going to be over. It's not over on this fight. Trust me on that. Every one of them better watch where they step. Watch what they say, watch what they do, watch where they sleep at night."
On Monday, he appeared to claim victory for the Irish in the wild aftermath and has no plans to look for peace. "We lost the match but won the battle," he tweeted. "The war goes on."
It's the same response he had to being submitted by Nate Diaz in March, 2016, a defeat he atoned five months later at UFC 202.
Not that it matters, but there was arguably better reasons from a match-up point of view to put McGregor and Diaz back in the Octagon together straight away.
McGregor was dominant in the first round of the first Diaz fight before making critical mistakes in the second round and having a lack of conditioning exposed.
The problems he had against Nurmagomedov, who basically did what he wanted before securing a fourth-round submission, will be harder to fix.
But the UFC and White won't be too bothered about that if McGregor is happy to jump back in, given the huge business a rematch will do.
White will have no problem using the troubling violence between the two clans to promote the fight either, because he has no regrets about doing it the first time.
Nurmagomedov's manager Ali Abdelaziz suggested the UFC had got what was coming to it in Las Vegas on Sunday after using footage of McGregor attacking a bus Nurmagomedov was sitting on in its fight promos.
"Let's be real," Abdelaziz said to USA Today. "The UFC promoted this fight with the videos. They didn't promote this as going to a golf tournament. They promoted this as a fight."
White branded the suggestion his company had crossed a line as "a stupid opinion".
"Dumbest quote I have ever heard in my life," he told ESPN. "This is a fight. The way that we promoted this fight, was exactly the way that this thing played out. That's all part of the storyline."
Nurmagomedov stunned viewers by hurdling the cage and fighting with McGregor's taunting cornermen while his own teammates ambushed McGregor in the Octagon.
"These guys are in big trouble," UFC President Dana White said. "It is going to be ugly." Executive director Bob Bennett said the Nevada Athletic Commission intends to file a complaint following its investigation into the actions of Nurmagomedov and his team for setting off the melee.
Nurmagomedov's $2.8 million purse has been withheld, and he could face a hefty fine along with a lengthy suspension.
White said three members of Nurmagomedov's team were detained by police, but released after McGregor refused to press charges.
White acknowledged Nurmagomedov's lightweight title could be stripped if his actions result in a significant suspension.
"There's going to be fines," White said. "There's going to be God knows what. Can these guys get visas to get back in the country?"
McGregor's $4.2 million purse was not withheld after commission officials examined video footage and determined his side had done nothing wrong in the melee.
- with AP