MMA News: Conor McGregor ‘causing trouble’ while Khabib Nurmagomedov was fighting at UFC 223?
What's the story?
The “UFC 223” drama ended with Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov, 29, of Dagestan, Russia being crowned the new UFC Lightweight Champion on 7 April 2018 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. While this was all happening, Conor “Notorious” McGregor, 29, of Dublin, Ireland was at Loew’s Regency Hotel in Manhattan, New York City, New York.
According to a source, McGregor was making a ruckus in his hotel room. Hailing from Rhode Island, the source, who did not want his name to be revealed, is a businessman who rented a room near that of the former UFC Lightweight Champion.
“He’s in there, causing trouble,” the source told the New York Post referring to McGregor. The source said the Irish mixed martial artist was “being rowdy” on the night Nurmagomedov defeated Al “Ragin’ Al” Iaquinta, 30, of Garden City, New York.
In case you didn’t know…
Nurmagomedov and Iaquinta competed in the lightweight division in the main event of “UFC 223.” After five five-minute rounds, the three judges scored the bout 50-44, 50-43 and 50-43 all in favour of the undefeated Russian MMA fighter.
McGregor has yet to release an official statement about Nurmagomedov’s win. Meanwhile, he recently updated his Instagram account with a cryptic post.
Before finally earning his championship belt, Nurmagomedov went through a roller-coaster ride full of twists and turns. His original “UFC 223” opponent was reigning Interim UFC Lightweight Champion Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson, 34, of Oxnard, California.
Due to a knee injury, Ferguson had to pull out of the competition and was replaced by reigning UFC Featherweight Champion Max “Blessed” Holloway, 26, of Waianae, Hawaii. After cutting weight to fight Nurmagomedov in the lightweight division, Holloway was declared medically unfit to fight during the weigh-in and was replaced by Iaquinta, who was supposed to fight Paul Felder.
Iaquinta was not immediately tapped in to replace Holloway as Nurmagomedov’s opponent at “UFC 223.” The first fighter asked to weigh in was former UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis, who was originally set to fight Michael “Maverick” Chiesa, 30, of Spokane Valley, Washington.
The heart of the matter
Six days before the fight night, Nurmagomedov had a minor altercation with Artem “The Russian Hammer” Lobov, 31, a Russian fighter based in Dublin. Lobov, who is McGregor’s friend and SBG Ireland teammate, was scheduled to fight Alex “Bruce Leroy” Caceres, 29, of Miami, Florida at “UFC 223.”
Three days before the fight night, UFC president Dana White confirmed that McGregor would be stripped of the belt. Two days before the fight night, McGregor, Lobov and their crew attacked a bus carrying Nurmagomedov, Chiesa and other “UFC 223” red-corner fighters.
While Nurmagomedov was unharmed, Chiesa sustained injuries and had to pull out of the competition. One day before “UFC 223,” McGregor turned himself into the police and was eventually released on $50,000 bail.
Shortly after becoming the new UFC Lightweight Champion at “UFC 223,” Nurmagomedov said at the post-fight news conference that he is ready to fight McGregor anytime, anywhere. The last time McGregor fought in the cage was on 12 November 2016 when he knocked out Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez, 34, of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia via punches at “UFC 205.”
Nurmagomedov also expressed his interest in competing against Georges St-Pierre. Coming out of retirement, the latter won the UFC Middleweight Champion title by submitting Michael Bisping at "UFC 217" on November 4, 2017, only to vacate the title 31 days later.
Instead of facing St-Pierre, Nurmagomedov should defend his UFC Lightweight Champion title from McGregor. It is about time for the UFC to arrange a fight between the undefeated Dagestani fighter and his Irish nemesis.
The bout between Nurmagomedov and McGregor should take place in 2018. If the bout ends in a decision from the judges, they should have a rematch and the rematch winner should face Ferguson.
But if the Nurmagomedov-McGregor ends via either submission or knockout, the winner should face Ferguson for the unification title bout. Among these three top fighters, the UFC should declare one champion in its lightweight division by 2019.
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