On 6th October 2018, in the main event of UFC 229, the biggest pay-per-view in the promotion's history and with the world watching, Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated former two-division champion, Conor McGregor, by a fourth-round neck crank submission stoppage.
The fight, as many have gone on to claim since, was a thoroughly one-sided affair where the undefeated lightweight champ mopped the floor with the Irishman before submitting him in the fourth round. However, if we were to present an alternate point of view, it indeed was the first time that Khabib Nurmagomedov had lost a round in his entire professional career.
Let's talk numbers now. Khabib Nurmagomedov outstruck Conor McGregor 70-59 in terms of significant strikes, knocked the Irishman down once, completed three takedowns, had 12 minutes of ground control, and finally managed to submit "The Notorious One" with a neck crank in the fourth round. While many consider this to be one of the most dominating performances in Khabib's career, McGregor begs to differ.
Conor McGregor took to Twitter to dissect his fight with Khabib and made the startling claim that he was beating Khabib up until he got submitted in the fourth round of the fight. Although he admitted that the Russian fighter won the second round, McGregor claimed that he won the first, third, and fourth-round until he got choked.
Conor McGregor said that in the first round, where he was controlled by Khabib for a total of over 4 minutes on the ground, he caused enough damage to the latter to be up on the judges' scorecards.
McGregor has suffered only two losses in the UFC. Once at UFC 196 against Nate Diaz and then at UFC 229 against Khabib. Since his loss to Khabib, Conor McGregor has only competed once inside the Octagon, knocking out Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds of the opening round at UFC 246 in January.
Conor McGregor is reportedly close to signing for a rematch against Dustin Poirier in January 2021. Khabib, meanwhile, is set to defend his title this weekend at UFC 254 against Justin Gaethje. Given the scenario of the lightweight division, should both men win in their respective fights, the UFC might very well book a rematch next.Published 20 Oct 2020, 19:38 IST