Conor McGregor says he is ready to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov again despite violent scenes in Las Vegas after the Russian had defeated the Irishman.
McGregor’s mixed martial arts return after a near two-year hiatus fell flat as he tapped out midway through the fourth round at UFC 229, and Nurmagomedov soured a career-best performance with his actions immediately afterwards.
The Russian, whose victory meant he retained his lightweight title, threw his gumshield, vaulted the cage and attacked someone from McGregor’s camp.
While that was happening, McGregor was set upon and attacked by at least two men who entered the cage as the bad blood between the camps came to a head.
But the Irishman seemed unfazed by all that as he tweeted: “Good knock. Looking forward to the rematch.”
Nurmagomedov expressed his regret at what had unfolded but showed his disdain for McGregor’s behaviour leading up to the fight, including the notorious bus attack in April that left several rival fighters injured.
The 30-year-old said: “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 came to Brooklyn and he broke a bus, he almost killed a couple of people. What about this s***? Why do people talk about me jumping over the cage? I don’t understand.
“This is a respectful sport, not a trash-talking sport. I want to change the game, you cannot talk about religion, about nationality.”
Despite the fiasco after the fight taking most of the headlines, it shouldn't be forgot how well Khabib performed inside of the Octagon.
Not only did he submit Notorious, he also floored the Irishman for the first time in his career.
The vicious punch that landed sweetly on McGregor's jaw sent him wobbling back and eventually down to the mat.
That is one hell of a punch.
Although most of the talk will be about the post-fight drama, it shouldn't be forgotten that Khabib schooled McGregor inside the Octagon.