The long-awaited return of “The Notorious” Conor McGregor finally went down tonight in the main event of UFC 229, but it didn’t go as Conor would have wanted.
Conor took on undefeated UFC Lightweight Champion “The Eagle” Khabib Nurmagomedov, and not only was he tapped out for the second time in his UFC career, his teammates also faced The Eagle’s wrath.
Unsurprisingly, the two chose not to touch gloves. Conor walked in calmly with his hands low, but landed a hard left early. Khabib shot in with a single and held on to Conor’s leg. The Notorious struggled, but Khabib took him down not once, but twice.
The Eagle held Conor down against the cage, straightening McGregor’s legs out.
The crowd wasn’t liking it, perhaps because they were spoiled by the bloody co-main event.
The Eagle continued to grind his prey against the cage, landing a couple of shots. McGregor landed some shots of his own from the bottom, though. Conor tried to push his way out, but Khabib had the Irishman’s legs tied up.
Conor looked like he was thinking about a guillotine, but let go of it quickly.
McGregor played some butterfly guard, but The Eagle passed into half guard.
The crowd was still not liking it. They obviously did not come to see a grappling match.
The round came to a close with Conor still on the bottom.
— UFC (@ufc) October 7, 2018
McGregor put the pressure on early in Round 2, but Khabib landed a huge right and dropped Conor. McGregor got up quickly, though, but almost ate a flying knee. The Eagle was not looking to turn this match into a boxing match, though, and took the Irishman to the ground with a massive takedown.
Khabib ended up in Conor’s guard and landed shots to the face and body. McGregor breathed through his mouth and definitely didn’t look as confident as he did in the beginning of the fight.
The Eagle stood up and rained somemassive shots. Somehow, Conor survived the onslaught, but he was clearly on the butt end of a butt kicking.
Khabib looked like he was going for a Kimura and then a guillotine, but Conor worked his way up. Still, McGregor was getting pressed up against the cage and didn’t look he had any answer for Khabib’s grappling as the round drew to a close.
Round 3, and again Conor came out pressing the action, this time with his hands out. McGregor faked some punches, but Khabib wasn’t fooled. The Eagle threw a one-two and then went for a double leg, but Conor stuffed it. Still, Khabib pressed Conor back against the cage.
McGregor landed some knees to the body, though, forcing The Eagle to back away. The match was starting to turn in Conor’s favor, as the former simultaneous Lightweight and Featherweight Champion landed punch after punch.
Khabib went back to doing what he did best — trying to turn the match into a grappling match. The Eagle pressed McGregor up against the cage, looking to wear The Notorious out. He couldn’t make much happen, though, and referee Herb Dean pressured Khabib to work shortly before the round.
Conor came out swimming in the first championship round. He looked beaten up, but he was still looking for a fight.
The crowd chanted for Conor.
The Eagle shot in for a double and landed it, pressing the downed former champion up against the cage. Conor worked his way up to his feet, but Khabib dragged Conor back down.
— UFC (@ufc) October 7, 2018
McGregor lay on his side, holding Khabib’s ankle with his legs. The Eagle landed repeated short shots. Conor tried to move to his hands, but in a move reminiscent of his first fight against Nate Diaz, ended up tapping to a rear naked choke.
The fight wasn’t over there, though. Khabib started screaming at the downed Conor. He then jumped over the cage and started a fight with Conor’s teammates. A fight looked like it started in the cage, but the camera’s backed off, leaving viewers to guess what was going on.
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