Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor’s fight on Saturday night was always going to seep into nearly every sphere of influence imaginable, and Russian president Vladimir Putin’s recent comments are confirmation of that.
Defeating McGregor via a fourth round submission, the events immediately following the contest have dominated conversations over the past week.
Nurmagomedov jumped the octagon, and flew into the crowd (justifying his nickname ‘The Eagle’ on the way) to confront members of the Irishman’s camp.
Simultaneously, components of Nurmagomedov’s corner found their way into the cage to scrap with ‘The Notorious’ himself.
The UFC are withholding Nurmagomedov’s prize money whilst the Nevada State Athletic Commission investigate the shenanigans, and a meeting between the Dagestani and Russian premier Putin has taken the incident to new levels of political significance.
Quoted by the Daily Express, Putin said:
We all understand that is was a provocation.
I’m sure your father understands that too.
It was done to provoke you and use it against you in the fight.
No matter what happens, we need to avoid rashness like charging someone,
The actions of McGregor before the fight have been used to explain why the bout boiled over as it did, with the Dublin-native repeatedly mocking Nurmagomedov’s background and religion.
With one of the most powerful figures in the world wading into the debate, it seems we haven’t heard the last of this tempest.