Were McGregor and Nurmagomedov Friends Back in the Day?
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Conor McGregor is one of the most intense rivalries in the MMA world. It’s very personal between these two extraordinary champs.
A gang war between Nurmagomedov and McGregor started when Khabib and his friends confronted Artem Lobov (Conor’s friend and sparring partner). Shortly after, McGregor responded with a bus attack on Nurmagomedov at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn during UFC 223 media day. The following events became the catalyst for the most anticipated fight in the history of MMA.
“The Eagle” and “The Notorious” finally faced each other in the octagon at UFC 229 in Las Vegas. Khabib dominated most of the fight (not only on the ground but striking as well) and finished McGregor in the 4th round by neck crank. Conor tapped just like he did when he lost in the first Diaz fight.
“The Eagle” wasn’t satisfied with the win – he jumped over the cage to attack Conor’s teammate and grappling training partner Dillon Danis. Apparently, McGregor’s people were provoking Nurmagomedov throughout the fight. At the same time, 3 guys from Khabib’s corner attacked Conor Mcgregor inside the octagon. Things got really intense but luckily no one got hurt during the brawl.
We know that McGregor and Nurmagomedov really hate each other now (or pretend as they do) but was it always like that? Were they in a better relationship back in the day?
Yes, in fact. There was a time when they talked in a friendly manner and there was no rivalry between them. Conor McGregor used to fight in the featherweight division at the time while Khabib was always in the lightweight. There was absolutely no competition between them until 2015.
At UFC 229 press conference “The Notorious” said that Khabib used to be his “fanboy” and he didn’t just make it up from nothing. Back in 2014, Conor McGregor was on the rise to become one of the most popular fighters in the UFC. Nurmagomedov and McGregor were in a good friendly relationship then and this picture was taken after Conor’s win over Dustin Poirier at UFC 178. At the time, Nurmagomedov wasn’t as well-known and popular as McGregor and that’s why Conor called him a “fanboy”.
Khabib and Conor were also having friendly conversations in social media prior to the UFC 178 and McGregor even invited Nurmagomedov to train together.
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) September 9, 2014
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 9, 2014
It all went downhill after the Irishman announced an interest to move up to lightweight division in September of 2015 prior to his featherweight championship bout with Jose Aldo.