Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor were each suspended and fined by the Nevada State Athletic Commission Tuesday for their roles in the brawl that took place after their lightweight championship fight at UFC 229 in October.

Khabib Nurmagomedov Conor McGregor
Khabib Nurmagomedov (right) and Conor McGregor (left) each received suspensions for their roles in the brawl that took place after UFC 229. (Image: John Locher/AP)

Nurmagomedov was hit with a nine month suspension and a $500,000 fine for his role in the melee, while McGregor will have to sit out six months and pay a $50,000 fine.

Suspensions Retroactive to UFC 229

Both suspensions have been dated retroactively to Oct. 6, 2018, the date of UFC 229. That means that McGregor (21-4) could be fighting again as soon as April, while Nurmagomedov (27-0) can come back in July. NSAC also gave Nurmagomedov the chance to reduce his suspension down to six months by participating in a local anti-bullying program.

But it seems unlikely that the Dagestani champion will take that option. His cousin, Abubakar Nurmagomedov, and his teammate, Zubaira Tukhugov each received one-year suspensions and $25,000 fines.

According to Ali Abdelaziz, who serves as Nurmagomedov’s manager, Khabib plans to pay those fees. However, he also told ESPN that the harsh suspensions have made the undefeated lightweight reconsider whether he will ever return to Nevada for another fight.

“He’s done with Vegas for giving his brothers such harsh punishment,” Abdelaziz told ESPN. “He loves MSG. Lots of his fans live around there, and New York has always been good to him. He misses fighting in New York.”

Those comments suggest that Nurmagomedov might be aiming to return in November, which has traditionally been the month in which the UFC visits Madison Square Garden.

McGregor Pleased with Decision

In contrast, McGregor seemed pleased by the decision handed down by NSAC.

“I am thankful for the [Nevada Athletic Commision’s] fair assessment and handling of the brawl incident,” McGregor tweeted on Wednesday morning. “It was not my intention to land the final blow of the night on my opponent’s blood relative. It’s just how it played out.”

McGregor also posted a second tweet dissecting that “final blow of the night.”

It’s possible that McGregor could make his return to the Octagon as soon as April 13, a week after his suspension will be lifted. That’s when UFC 236 is scheduled to be held, though a location for that event has yet to be determined.

If McGregor were to fight then, a rematch against Nurmagomedov would seem to be impossible given the Russian fighter’s longer suspension. However, there are other attractive options for the Irish lightweight, including a bout with veteran Donald Cerrone (35-11), who is coming off a TKO win over Alexander Hernandez at UFC Fight Night 143 in Brooklyn earlier this month.

If McGregor does eventually get another shot at the lightweight championship, he’s likely to come in as a significant underdog. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook currently lists Nurmagomedov as a -300 favorite over McGregor (+240) in a hypothetical fight between the two this year.

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