Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov clashed at UFC 229 in the largest selling pay-per-view in UFC history. It was the series of events leading up to the bout that sparked such an intense rivalry between the two.
McGregor's teammate Artem Lobov detailed an encounter with Khabib Nurmagomedov which eventually led to the infamous dolly incident. According to Lobov, he had openly criticized Nurmagomedov in an interview with a Russian media outlet.
Lobov claims that 'The Eagle' cornered him at the Barclays Center in New York during UFC 223. He also claimed that Khabib initially left after talking to him, only to return with more people.
Artem Lobov told Severe MMA:
"Khabib then came up to me alone and he started saying all this to me, 'What are you saying?' I said, 'Khabib hold on a second. If somebody would call your brother a chicken, would you have answered something to him?' And he was like, can't really say anything cause he knew I was right. So he turned around and went away. So I picked the phone back up and continued my interview. But then a minute or two later Khabib comes back with fifty... I don't know whatever, how many guys were there. He comes back and suddenly he is changed. Now I'm telling him the exact same thing again like,'You would have done the same thing.' And he is asking me the same question over and over."
Catch Artem Lobov's interview with Severe MMA below:
Khabib Nurmagomedov slapped Artem Lobov
Khabib Nurmagomedov did not take kindly to Artem Lobov's insults when they met at the Barclays Center in New York. In a video of the infamous incident, Khabib can be seen slapping Lobov while he is surrounded by 'The Eagle's entourage.
Check out the confrontation between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Artem Lobov below:
The altercation prompted Lobov's teammate Conor McGregor to fly down to New York on a chartered plane. McGregor and his entourage stormed the Barclays Arena, vandalizing buses that housed the fighters and injuring some of them in the process.