Khabib Nurmagomedov points at Conor McGregor as the two are pulled apart during a ceremonial weigh-in for their UFC 229 bout. Picture: John Locher/AP
Khabib Nurmagomedov points at Conor McGregor as the two are pulled apart during a ceremonial weigh-in for their UFC 229 bout. Picture: John Locher/AP

McGregor tries to attack Nurmagomedov before UFC showdown

CONOR McGregor has attempted to take the attack to Khabib Nurmagomedov a day before their eagerly awaited UFC lightweight title showdown in Las Vegas.

The pair had both made the 70kg limit on Friday morning, local time, but tensions boiled over at the ceremonial weigh-in for UFC 229 in the afternoon at T-Mobile Arena.

As they got into their fighting poses, McGregor brought his arms down on Nurmagomedov before aiming a kick at his rival after being beckoned forward by the Russian.

Nurmagomedov seemed unflustered by the antics, or the abuse from a crowd largely supporting McGregor. The Irishman's entourage included the rapper Drake draped in an Irish flag.

McGregor made one last attempt to charge at Nurmagomedov but the fighters were held back from each other by security personnel.

McGregor then turned his attention to the thousands of his fans in attendance ahead of his first UFC bout in nearly two years.

"It's good to be back," he said. "The king is home."

Nurmagomedov was booed at public events this week so it came as little surprise when he was again subjected to jeers.

"Tomorrow night I'm going to smash your boy," Nurmagomedov told the crowd.

The unbeaten Nurmagomedov is making the first defence of the lightweight title he won in April by outpointing late replacement Al Iaquinta, taking his professional record to 26-0 as a result.

This weekend's event has been billed as the biggest in the UFC's history and is forecast to set a benchmark in pay-per-view buys for the organisation.

McGregor's comeback is unquestionably a factor in that. The 30-year-old is set to compete in mixed martial arts for the first time since November 2016, when he defeated Eddie Alvarez to become the only fighter to simultaneously hold two UFC titles.

However, his absence meant he was stripped of the featherweight and lightweight crowns, with Nurmagomedov succeeding McGregor as top dog in the latter division.

- PA


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