By MARIE ROPER
On Oct. 6, Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Conor McGregor in the UFC 229 lightweight match. At round four, Nurmagomedov submitted McGregor at twelve minutes and seventeen seconds. Nurmagomedov totaled one hundred and four strikes, seventy significant strikes, and McGregor totaled ninety-six strikes, fifty-one significant strikes according to the UFC 229 Fight Card from the UFC official site.
Both players participated in pre-fight build up.
Nurmagomedov stated in his press congress after the fight that McGregor talked about his religion, his father, and attacked the bus that Nurmagomedov and his team were in, almost killing someone. Yet, all everyone is talking about is how Nurmagomedov jumped over the cage.
When asked about his thoughts on the fight, Rick Altenburg, junior historic preservation and religion double major said, “I enjoy watching fights and am somewhat familiar with UFC, but the main reason I watched was because my roommate had it on pay-per-view. I was interested in the fight beforehand because I think Conor McGregor is a very talented fighter with a unique personality.”
Sekai Walker, a senior biology major, stated, “I don’t watch UFC often, but I am very familiar with it. A lot of my friends were watching it so I ended up watching it as well.”
McGregor is famous and known for his unique entertainment where he rattles his opponent and tries to get a reaction.
When asked about Nurmagomedov jumping over the fence after the fight, Walker said, “There were lots of rifts between Khabib and McGregor before the fight – racist things being said, things about his family being said so from an athlete’s standpoint, I understand where he is coming from, especially during the heat of the moment. Was it the right thing? No. But I understand where Khabib is coming from.”
“Conor showed no respect to Khabib or his team leading up to the fight,” said Altenburg. “McGregor attacked his family, his religion, his country and his culture over the course of several months. An important thing to consider is that English is not Khabib’s first language, so while he can understand everything Conor is saying to him, he does not have the ability to fire back with witty responses even if he wanted to.”
“To think about how Khabib had this increasing sense of rage building up inside of him for months, on top of coming from a culture in which family and honor are revered, it’s astonishing he was able to control his anger for so long,” said Altenburg. “I sure wouldn’t have been able to.”
Many think McGregor went overboard in his tactic of taunting his opponent. He pushed Nurmagomedov to his limit of being disrespected, both by McGregor and his teammates. After the brawl broke off, Nurmagomedov was not presented his belt due to the UFC officials’ fear of fans backlashing and throwing objects into the ring and causing further damage.
When asked what he thinks will happen to Nurmagomedov, Altenburg said, “If Nurmagomedov is not punished by the UFC, it sets the precedent that this sort of behavior is acceptable to the UFC and MMA community. On the other hand, Conor McGregor is guilty of much worse conduct than jumping over a fence. He attacked a bus filled with fighters, UFC staff, and their families, and received nothing more than a slap on the wrist from UFC president Dana White. It is hard to say how the UFC will decide to act in light of these recent events.”
As of Oct. 15, 2018, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) stated that they are under investigation by the Commission’s Executive Director, Bob Bennett. In the meantime, NSAX is suspending UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor starting Monday. A hearing is set to determine if they will be banned for good.
UFC and other fights are usually shown on pay-per-view and not many students are able to watch the fight. As a future event, it might be a great idea if UMW could show the fight for those students who are unable to watch the fight and rely on social media to get the result.