Khabib Nurmagomedov (27-0) maintained his position as the most dominant mixed martial artist in the world, submitting Conor McGregor (21-4) in the fourth round by rear-naked choke to win the main event at UFC 229. But the glory of that victory was quickly overshadowed by an ugly brawl that ensued only seconds after the fight had ended.

Nurmagomedov McGregor UFC 229
Khabib Nurmagomedov (right) submitted Conor McGregor (center) by rear naked choke in the fourth round of the UFC 229 main event on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Image: AP)

Within moments after McGregor had tapped out, Nurmagomedov leaped over the Octagon wall and got into a fight with McGregor’s jiu-jitsu coach Dillon Danis, while two other men on Nurmagomedov’s team came into the Octagon and threw punches at a recovering McGregor.

Nurmagomedov Team Members Arrested

According to UFC president Dana White, three members of Nurmagomedov’s delegation were arrested after the fight. However, they were released after McGregor declined to press charges. White told ESPN that the incident was “ridiculous,” saying that Nurmagomedov lost an opportunity to win the respect of the pro-McGregor crowd.

“I actually didn’t allow [Nurmagomedov] to get the belt put on because I knew what was going to happen when we did it was people were going to throw whatever they had into the Octagon, so let’s just get him out of here,” White said. “Sure enough, as soon as they started going through the tunnel, exactly what I knew was gonna happen.”

The aftermath sullied what had been a fight that largely lived up to the massive hype that came in the weeks leading up to UFC 229.

Punishing Ground Game Too Much for McGregor

Nurmagomedov dominated most of the first two rounds, getting McGregor on the mat in both and effectively working his ground-and-pound game. But McGregor was putting up resistance, stalling well in the first round and defending against submission attempts in the second.

The third round saw the two men stay on their feet, giving McGregor his best chance to gain the advantage. The Irish fighter was able to land significant knees and punches, and McGregor won the third round on all three scorecards – the first time in Nurmagomedov’s career he had lost a round.

But the Dagestani world champion didn’t allow McGregor to mount a real comeback. In the fourth round, Nurmagomedov continued to hound a tiring McGregor, ultimately getting him on the floor, passing guard, and landing a choke that forced the challenger to tap out.

In the post-fight press conference, Nurmagomedov apologized to the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for his actions, but said that he couldn’t understand why his actions were getting more attention than those of McGregor.

“I know this is not my best side,” he said. “I don’t understand how people can talk about how I jumped on the cage. What about how he talk about my religion, he talk about my country, he talk about my father, he come to Brooklyn and he broke bus, he almost kill a couple people…why people talk about ‘I jump over the cage?’”

Nurmagomedov Purse Withheld, Suspension Likely

According to White, NSAC is withholding Nurmagomedov’s winnings from the fight pending an investigation into the post-fight incidents. NSAC Executive Director Bob Bennet told MMA Fighting that a “full investigation” was underway, which could ultimately led to hearings and possible sanctions for Nurmagomedov and his team members.

White has also said that Nurmagomedov will likely face a suspension from UFC. Depending on how long that suspension is, it’s possible he could be stripped of his lightweight title.

Despite all of the antics after the bout, McGregor has remained uncharacteristically soft-spoken since his loss. In a tweet after the fight, the former two-division champ relayed only a simple message for his fans.

“Good knock,” McGregor wrote. “Looking forward to the rematch.”