by Ashraf Nisfudin
Khabib Nurmagomedov going against Connor McGregor is not only a battle of the two best lightweights on the planet, it's also one of the biggest grudge-match in UFC history.
Connor McGregor started off as a featherweight and was friendly with Khabib Nurmagomedov until he stepped up into his division. Khabib was a fan of Connor, in 2015 he took photos with him and praising his performance. He even bought one oh his t-shirts supporting his cause.
It turned frosty when the UFC offered a title fight to Khabib only to withdraw the contract and offer it to McGregor, relegating Khabib to lower down on the fight card.
The ill-feeling escalated further this April when Khabib and his team cornered McGregor’s friend and training partner Artem Lobov in a New York hotel to confront him about calling Khabib a ‘coward’ on Russian television.
Upon hearing of the incident, McGregor and a number of his team-mates in Dublin hopped on a flight to New York knowing the bus location that Khabib was in. Connor began banging on the windows to lure Nurmagomedov out.
After seeing that Nurmagomedov wouldn't leave the bus, an enraged McGregor grabbed a nearby dolly and threw it through one of the vehicle's windows.
The bus attack chaos ensued, making headlines all over the world.
During the first press conference promoting UFC 229, Khabib remained in his seat through out the conference and McGregor has frequently used it as a stick to beat him with.
The Irishman even offered Khabib his ‘Proper 12’ whiskey at the conference, a deeply offensive gesture as Khabib is a devout Muslim and Connor knew that it would get under his skin.
Khabib won the fight against Connor as the Russian smothered him with his wrestling skills and prevented Connor from getting back to his feet for the rest of the round. The victory stretched McGregor’s professional record to 27-0 and handed the Irishman his second defeat in the UFC. Nurmagomedov jumped over the cage after submitting McGregor in the fourth round and attacked one of his training partners, who was screaming at Nurmagomedov. Khabib did not officially received his championship belt that night due to the chaos and everything happening but was claimed champion.