While most people are talking about what happened outside the Octagon after UFC 229, when Khabib Nurmagomedov vaulted the cage to attack Conor McGregor’s team, there are some eagle eyed observers that have been concerned with what happened inside the cage.
The headline event of UFC 229 between Irishman McGregor and Russian Nurmagomedov was inevitably going to be explosive, but not many could have predicted the post-fight antics spawned apparently from McGregor's verbal attacks pre-bout.
New video analysis of the bout, however, might suggest that Nurmagomedov had other reasons to be furious after defeating his opponent, with McGregor apparently breaking UFC rules multiple times during the bout.
The compilation shows all the times the Irishman used illegal moves and fouls against the Russian and, more importantly, gets away with it despite warnings from referee Herb Dean.
Specifically, it suggests the rules McGregor broke were: grabbing his opponent’s shorts, kneeing Nurmagomedov in the head while on the floor, and holding onto the fence (with his feet) also while on the floor.
The video shows that McGregor opts from the opening of round one to pull the Russian fighter's shorts in an attempt to discourage a take-down and maintain his own balance. He repeats this tactic throughout the first minute while striking the back of Nurmagomedov's head three times in succession at one point.
McGregor's frustration is apparent during the second minute of the first round as he feels the power of Khabib's superior ground technique and resorts to another pull of the shorts followed by more illegal shots to the back of the head.
Khabib looks questioningly towards the official during the grapple, and intervention is attempted as McGregor is told by Herb Dean "don't grab the shorts", despite this, McGregor ends the round with a couple more illegal strikes.
During the latter stages of the second round, McGregor is seen grabbing the cage before throwing an illegal strike again during moments when Nurmagomedov has him on the ground.
Round three begins with more blatant shorts pulling and then McGregor grabbing his opponent's glove while throwing a series of illegal strikes in an attempt to prevent his opponent gaining enough leverage to ground him once again.
Khabib is visibly unhappy between after the third round and is seen directing criticism towards the referee, and the fourth round sees McGregor grabbing the cage again in desperation before he eventually succumbs to Khabib via submission.
Overall the clip records 24 illegal moves and strikes by McGregor which seems a shocking statistic and may go some way to expalining Nurmagomedov's post-bout fury.
Watch the full video below.
It certainly appears that McGregor had a set of tactics to try and turn the bout in his favour that were not strictly within the laws of UFC.
It would appear that McGregor knew he would get away with these offences and that despite the officials warning him he was not worried about points deductions for his more blatant actions.
The fallout from this bout is far from over and it will be interesting to see if either fighter suffers penalties for their actions during and post fight.