We’ve seen Khabib Nurmagomedov in some epic contests throughout his career in the UFC, but few rivalries were more personal than that with Conor McGregor. The pair had been going back and forth at one another before they finally met inside the octagon, and after all the build-up, it was Khabib Nurmagomedov who made good on his promise and “smashed” the Irishman.
He submitted 'Notorious' in the fourth round and, after securing the win, jumped over the cage and began a brawl with members of McGregor’s team. Three years later, it’s safe to say that 'The Eagle' understands just how huge this moment was for his career. He captioned the post:
“3 years ago today, we changed the game”
Khabib Nurmagomedov became a household name after UFC 229
The mixed martial arts world knew about Khabib Nurmagomedov and what he could do prior to UFC 229. However, that night in Las Vegas, the Russian showcased to casual fans and hardcores alike that he was the best lightweight on the planet.
He maintained that reputation through the final two bouts of his career as the great Khabib Nurmagomedov proceeded to submit Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje. 'The Eagle' finished off his career with an unbeaten 29-0 record.
The Conor McGregor win took Khabib Nurmagomedov to the lofty heights of a recognized PPV star. While he didn't quite get to the same level as his foe, he was definitely part of some events that made history - including UFC 229 itself, which wound up selling more than 2.4 million pay-per-views.
Khabib has since retired from the sport, but even in the post-competitive days, he's still drawing crowds worldwide. The Dagestani continues to build a platform for himself as one of the greatest mixed martial artists to ever step foot inside the UFC cage.
Conor McGregor, on the other hand, hopes to return in 2022.
After Khabib, Conor and Jon Jones, it's Islam, O'Malley and Izzy. Follow them here!