Vladimir Putin meets Khabib Nurmagomedov after his win over McGregor
Recently there is been some talks out there about Khabib Nurmagomedov disliking and disrespecting the Russian President Vladimir Putin after it was brought up by Conor McGregor at the UFC 229 press conference.
Earlier in the summer, McGregor was invited by Vladimir Putin to the FIFA World Cup Final match in Moscow where he met the Russian President. “The Notorious” posted a picture on Instagram saying that he was honored by the invite from “one of the greatest leaders of our time”.
View this post on Instagram
Today I was invited to the World Cup final as a guest of Russian President Vladimir Putin. This man is one of the greatest leaders of our time and I was honored to attend such a landmark event alongside him. Today was an honor for me Mr. Putin. Thank you and congratulations on an amazing World Cup. Россия вперёд!
Interestingly, Khabib was also at the stadium at the same time as McGregor but he wasn’t invited by Mr. Putin. Luckily, Khabib and Conor didn’t see each other then.
The question is, does it mean anything and is there any dislike or personal conflict between Nurmagomedov and Putin?
We know that Vladimir Putin is a big sports fan. He loves and supports sports in Russia – martial arts in particular. As a teenager, Putin used to practice sambo and judo himself, he was actually a competitor at the Junior Nationals. He has a firsthand experience of what martial arts are like and he is following and watching fights of the Russian MMA fighters. For example, Putin is a good friend of “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko.
Speaking of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Vladimir Putin has a lot of respect for him and his achievements as an athlete. Right after the fight with McGregor, the Russian President called and congratulated Khabib on a victory. A few days later, when Nurmagomedov came back to Russia, Vladimir Putin in person met Khabib and his father Abdulmanap at the Country of Sports International Forum in Ulyanovsk.
Besides basic congratulations, Mr. Putin said to Khabib that he understands that UFC is a commercial business but he suggested to focus more on it as a sport, not as a show (speaking about what happened after the fight with McGregor). Anyway, Putin congratulated Khabib and his father on a dominating win against Conor McGregor, said he is very proud and wished them the best of luck and success to achieve even higher goals.
So now you can see that there is no conflict between Khabib Nurmagomedov and the Russian President and the whole “disrespect” thing was made up by McGregor as part of his trash-talk to get under Khabib’s skin.