It is currently 3 AM and I have to be up at 7:30 and yet I can’t sleep. I’m hopped up on lots of pizza, whiskey, apple pie, and frustration. And not frustration because McGregor lost, but rather the disgusting display that took place following the fight. So in my slightly drunken, stuffed, and frustrated state of mind, I decided to begin writing my thoughts on the entire situation while they’re fresh.
I want to start by saying, that this was a VERY good PPV. Karate Hottie was dominant, Derrick Lewis had arguably the greatest KO comeback in UFC history, Reyes had a huge win over OSP in what should have been a KO at the bell but was ruled a decision, and Furguson and Pettis had an all-time war cut short due to injury to Pettis. And then the main event happened.
The fight in general was good. The crowd was not pleased because of all the grappling. BUT, it’s MMA, not boxing, grappling is going to happen in an MMA fight, get over it. I was incorrect in my prediction as Khabib was incredibly efficient in covering the distance and grappling with Conor and was able to take Conor down just as well as everybody else he has fought. Conor’s takedown defense was much better than people give credit for, just like I said. This all led to a relatively dominating performance in a 4th round submission victory via Neck Crank. I wanted the fight stopped in the 2nd when Khabib was landing unanswered ground and pound, but Herb let it go and Conor survived for a few more rounds. The actions after the fight were absolutely despicable and downplay everything that Mixed Martial Arts stands for.
Khabib won the fight, had to be yanked from the hold by Herb Dean and then spit and continued to talk trash towards Conor while he was on the ground. He proceeded to go towards Conor’s corner talking to his coaches, threw his mouthpiece at them and then jumped the cage and attacked Dillon Danis (one of Conor’s coaches and a fighter in his own right). While that happened, Conor was jumped by multiple members of Khabib’s team while in the cage, taking punches from bare knuckled, MMA level fighters. I understand that there was a lot of bad blood and some things were said to attempt to sell PPV’s, but what happened after the fight is the single worst thing in UFC history. It makes the sport look terrible. A similar situation happened after Mayhem Miller won a fight years back and then was jumped by the Diaz brothers and their team. Suspensions were handed out but it was nowhere near the level of this event and no where near as severe.
3 members of Khabib’s team have reportedly been arrested and it’s being rumored that Khabib and his entire team could lose their Visa’s over the incident. I do not believe Khabib is going to fight in the UFC again. It was said that he wanted to beat “Dana’s posterboy” and then retire from the fight game. Well, now he’s beat the posterboy and also tarnished his legacy. DO NOT be shocked if the Athletic Commission overturns the decision and this becomes a No Contest.
The most seen PPV in UFC history is now going to be remembered for this moment. Not for the great comeback by Lewis, or the back and forth war between Ferguson and Pettis. Mixed Martial Arts is about competition and sportsmanship. Yes, they go in there and punch each other for a living. But the level of respect and sportsmanship shown in the cage is something not seen in many sports and it is the embodiment of Mixed Martial Arts. Instead of the love and respect shown between Ferguson and Pettis after beating the hell out of each other, we’ll remember a guy who was dominant and then started a fucking riot after winning the fight. It sucks. Conor McGregor has been humble in victory and defeat throughout his career and I have no doubt he would have been the same way tonight. And I know, he threw a dolly through the window of a bus, but Khabib’s team cornering Artem Lobov in the hallway led to that. Conor may have lost, but I think he wins more fans tonight considering how both sides acted. The side that preaches ‘making guys humble’ attacked guys after the fight like hoodlems, including a fighter who had just been defeated and was standing in a corner trying to recover. While the side that are considered arrogant assholes acted with professionalism and tried to avoid the situation so it would not escalate more. Khabib and his entire team should be ashamed of the entire event and I really hope, from a guy who is a lifelong fan, that I NEVER see Khabib Nurmagomedov in the Octagon ever again. I hope they all lose their Visa’s and go back to Dagestan to never be heard from in the fight game again. Let Pettis and Ferguson run it back for the title and let’s move forward from this debacle.
P.S.- Proper 12 is a real good whiskey.