By: Anna Rossi
This past Saturday night, October 6, the championship for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, UFC, lightweight title was held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event is the championship for Mixed Martial Arts, more commonly referred to as MMA. The main lightweight title event was between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Nurmagomedov prevailed and left the event with the 2018 MMA lightweight title.
In 2008, McGregor, nicknamed, “The Notorious,” began his professional career, however, he did not take off as a fighter until 2011. He lives and competes out of Ireland and is known for his pride in his heritage. He is trained as both an MMA fighter and a boxer, however, he began his career in MMA and quickly became one of the most wellknown MMA fighters. McGregor is the highest paid in the industry even though he has not retained many of his championship titles in the past two years. He is most wellknown for his 2017 boxing match taking on one of boxing’s greatest, Floyd Mayweather. At that event, he lost in a technical knockout in the tenth round.
Nurmagomedov, from Russia, came into Saturday’s fight to defend his UFC lightweight title. He also came into the event undefeated, claiming 27 wins and no losses compared to McGregor’s 21 wins and three losses. Nurmagomedov is nicknamed, “The Eagle.” Nurmagomedov has recently been working for the UFC and has focused on paying all MMA fighters fairly. He said in an interview in the week before the fight, “If it is a money fight, pay me the money.” This is in response to the fact that McGregor, who is not currently ranked the highest in the MMA, is the highest paid fighter according to Forbes. The rebuttal to this claim is that McGregor gets paid so much because of his entertainment value and strong following.
There was no definite speculation before the fight about who the winner of the event would be considering both fighters had strong reputations, however, many sports officials commented that both fighters, “needed the win.”
McGregor needed this win because he has not had one this large since returning from his two-year hiatus from fighting that he took after his son was born.
Nurmagomedov came into the fight undefeated, so he did not necessarily need a win. Still, winning this fight would change his reputation because he would be able to have beating such a high ranked and well-known opponent on his record.
The fight was set up to last for five rounds. At the end of each round a set of three judges could give up to 10 points to each of the opponents for their performance in that particular round. Nurmagomedov won the first two rounds while McGregor took the third. The fight ended three minutes into the fourth round with McGregor’s submission. He was finally taken down from a rear naked hold move by Nurmagomedov.
Therefore, Nurmagomedov left the event with title of the UFC MMA lightweight champion.
After the fight, the Nurmagomedov dove out of the ring and into the crowd of McGregor’s fan base. He was escorted out of the crowd by officials and guards. McGregor was recovering from the fight during this time. This is said to possibly be in response to the rivalry between the two fighters, as well as, celebration of his victory. This includes the time that McGregor attacked Nurmagomedov’s bus and the previously mentioned discrepancy of pay.
Both of the fighters were escorted out of the event by security at the end of the night. McGregor and Nurmagomedov were the main event of the night. The other fights included Tony Ferguson and Anthony Pettis in the Lightweight Co-Main event. Ferguson won this event because of a technical knockout in the second round. Dominick Reyes won the Light Heavyweight event by a decision in the third round against Ovince Saint Preux. In the Heavyweight event, Derrick Lewis prevailed against Alexander Volkov also by technical knockout in the third round. Lastly, Michelle Waterson beat Felice Herrig in the Women Strawweight Competition by decision.