Nurmagomedov Gets Swarmed in Russian Arena After Returning Home From McGregor Fight

October 9, 2018 Updated: October 9, 2018

Mixed martial arts champion and national hero Khabib Nurmagemedov was swarmed by thousands of jubilant fans after returning home to the Russian republic of Dagestan following his Oct. 6 win over the Irish fighter Conor McGregor.

Khabib stands on stage with his father
Nurmagomedov (L) holds his UFC belt as he stands next to his father Abdulmanap (C) during a ceremony upon the arrival at the Anzhi Arena stadium in Makhachkala, Dagestan, on Oct. 8, 2018. (Vasily Maximov/AFP/Getty Images)

Nurmagomedov’s fourth-round submission win at the UFC 229 event in Las Vegas, Nevada, was marred by a ringside brawl sparked by the Dagestani fighter’s dramatic jump from the Octagon cage towards members of McGregor’s corner, part of a bitter feud between the two fighters’ camps.

Khabib escorted out of the arena
Khabib Nurmagomedov is escorted out of the arena after defeating Conor McGregor in their UFC lightweight championship bout by way of submission during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on Oct. 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Harry How/Getty Images)

The Dagestani grappler later apologized for his actions in a post-fight press conference, and tried to explain his actions by saying that McGregor and his team had gone too far in the pre-bout trash talk.

“First of all, I want to say sorry to Nevada Athletic Commission and second to Vegas. I know this is not my best side. I’m a human being. But I don’t understand how people can talk about how I jump on the cage. He talked about my religion, he talked about my country, he talked about my father,” he said at the post-fight press conference.

“This is a respectful sport, not a trash-talking sport,” said Nurmagomedov. “I want to change the game, you cannot talk about religion, about nationality,” he said without answering any reporters’ questions before leaving.

Fans cheer on Khabib
Fans of Nurmagomedov cheer him on during a meeting at the Anzhi Arena stadium in Makhachkala, Dagestan, on Oct. 8, 2018. (Vasily Maximov/AFP/Getty Images)

Nurmagomedov later again apologized on Instagram.

He said “I apologize to everyone whom I have offended in our … victory.” He also wrote: “Thank you for your incredible support, I love you, yours truly” to his fans.

View this post on Instagram

По братски, хоть сейчас тормозите, а то уже мне самому за вас неудобно 😁 Я же говорил вам, 6 октября я все скажу, или вы реально хотели, чтоб меня там побили?))) Извиняюсь перед всеми, кого я обидел нашей общей победой✊️ А мои искренние Болельщики – вы просто космос 🚀 спасибо вам за вашу невероятную поддержку, я люблю вас, искренне ваш – Хабиб Нурмагомедов. #ТудаСюда #вореСахлъи

A post shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) on

On Oct. 8, at the Anzhi Arena stadium in Dagestan’s capital Makhachkala, Nurmagomedov again struck a defiant tone before a crowd of about 10,000 ecstatic fans.

“And with what happened afterwards, some people say I did the wrong thing, others that I did the right thing,” said Nurmagomedov, whose nickname in fighting circles is known to be The Eagle, RT reported.

“You can’t confine an eagle to a cage. And I showed them that,” Nurmagomedov said, as chants of “Khabib! Khabib!” rose throughout the stands.

Khabib raises his belt
UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov raises his champion’s belt at a fan meet event in Makhachkala, Dagestan, on Oct. 8, 2018. (Vasily Maximov/AFP/Getty Images)

Zealous fans then invaded the pitch to get closer to their idol, according to video tweeted by RT sports reporter Denis Geyko.

Nurmagomedov to Face Sanctions

In the aftermath of the brawl that followed Nurmagomedov’s victory over McGregor, the Nevada State Athletic Commission plans to file complaints against both fighters.

Commission chairman Anthony Marnell told ESPN on Oct. 8 that the board is investigating the Oct. 6 fracas.

Nurmagomedov had his $2 million purse held with a complaint pending, multiple media outlets reported. McGregor received his $3 million payment, but that was before the NSAC saw video that implicated the Irish star of post-fight wrongdoing as well.

“We will be filing against Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov,” Marnell told ESPN. “Because we withheld one purse, we will have to move expeditiously to a complaint and hearing. We have held 100 percent of one of the fighter’s money. Temporary suspensions will be out shortly, and we’re shooting for a final hearing date in November.”

UFC head Dana White said he hoped the Dagestani fighter would not be punished too harshly.

“They took his whole purse right now and they’re talking about keeping his purse—I do not think that that should happen,” White told TMZ Sports.

“I think they should take a quarter of a million dollars from him,” White said. “(He) absolutely keeps his title. And he’s going to get suspended, so maybe you give him a four to six months suspension.”

Follow Tom on Twitter: @OZImekTOM