McGregor, who has been described as UFC’s Tiger Woods, was returning to the cage after two years away from the sport, which had caused him to be stripped of his titles for inactivity.
In the end, Khabib retained his lightweight title, pulling off a rear-naked choke on McGregor in the fourth round.
Afterwards, he screamed a few choice words at the Irishman, leading to chaos as the two fighters brawled with team members, overshadowing Khabib’s excellent performance against an all-time great.
However, as we have been reminded in the last week, the build up to the fight was pretty intense too.
Responding to a tweet from McGregor stating, “what I do is line jaws up and pop them” a fan posted pre-fight footage of the pair with neither prepared to blink first, with the slogan: “We need something this big again.”
The up close and personal footage has a ferocious intensity and shows that this sport is only for the toughest of competitors. And the footage has stood the test of time with fans queuing up with tweets.
Some are harking back to those days, with one fan tweeting “sadly nothing will come close” and another “unfortunately this was a once in a life time match!”
McGregor, a legend in the sport and a fierce competitor, stared his opponent down and delivered a chilling message telling his opponent “you’re dead”. However, Khabib remained ice cool and didn’t flinch, refusing to allow this to intimidate him.
This was acknowledged by the fans, with one tweeting “I like how calm Khabib is, not intimidated at all” and another “Khabib was gangster mode here… scary”
Another tweet suggested a new nickname for Khabib: “This gives me goosebumps I swear. He should be called Iceman.”
Some fans were scornful of McGregor’s pre-fight intimidation given the result, with one fan commenting “Mystic Mac accurately predicts himself” and another saying “24 hours later Herb Dean saved his neck and life lol.”
All of which is a little disrespectful to an all-time great who has backed up his words throughout his glittering career.
Others acknowledged the menace in McGregor’s words, but praised Khabib for staying focussed and strong: “He was trying his hardest but Khabib wasn’t buying it.”
The footage has clearly whetted fight fans’ appetites for bouts of this magnitude with the intensity on display showing the levels needed to compete in elite MMA.