BISHOP: Honor justifies Khabib’s actions at UFC 229

By Chris Bishop, MMATorch Contributor

Khabib Nurmagomedov (photo credit Adam Hunger © USA Today Sports)

Last Saturday Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Conor McGregor via rear naked choke in the fourth round to retain the UFC lightweight title. After the biggest win of his career, Khabib jumped over the fence and confronted McGregor’s team and coaches who were cage side. This sparked one of the ugliest displays in MMA history. After Khabib jumped over the fence, members of his team jumped into the cage and assaulted McGregor from behind. Security was quick to grab McGregor and end the ordeal relatively quickly. Most importantly, security did a great job not allowing the violence to spread into the crowd.

Khabib Apolgizes

During his post fight interview, Khabib apologized to Las Vegas and to the Nevada Athletic Commission for his actions. At the same time, he attempted to explain and even excuse his actions pointing towards controversial comments made about him in pre-fight press conferences by McGregor. He also talked about the bus attack which happened in Brooklyn this April. At one point he even asked, “Why people talk about I jump over the cage? Why people still talk about this?”

Dana White said he felt disappointed after what happened Saturday night. Many people have said these events gave the sport of MMA a black eye and have set the sport back two or three years. However, I think we are missing one beautiful aspect of UFC 229. A lot has been made of what the proper punishment will be for Khabib and how much will the Nevada Commission fine him. While I do not condone what happened, there is a beauty to what happened that night.

Defending Honor

In defeating McGregor, Khabib took the throne atop the UFC. After the fight, the king decided he was going to defend his honor along with the honor of his family, country, religion in a way that will be forever remembered. Jumping into the enemy’s den without any protection or security exemplifies what a warrior is. Of course there will be punishment, because there are rules in place that should be followed and martial artists should never behave in this way. Money does not seem to be the most important thing to Khabib. The fines and suspension will all come second to protecting his honor as that is the most important thing here. How many of us would do that in such an amazing way?

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