Ultimate Fighting Champion lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov said he took great pleasure from beating Conor McGregor.
The lightweight rivals tussled in the main event of UFC 229 in October 2018 as ‘The Notorious’ returned from a two-year fighting hiatus to challenge Nurmagomedov for the 155-pound title.
The build-up to this gigantic clash was arguably the ugliest in the promotion history as the returning McGregor hurled controversial comments on Khabib.
But it was Nurmagomedov who had the last laugh as he submitted McGregor in the fourth round to retain his lightweight title and kept his unbeaten record intact.
Then a chaotic post-fight brawl ensued as Khabib jumped to the cage, attacking McGregor’s cornerman, Dillon Danis while Conor was seen brawling with the Russian’s teammates.
Both lightweights have been slapped with hefty fines and lengthy suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission as the aftermath of the ugly fracas.
In a recent Q and A with fans in Russia, ‘The Eagle’ looked back on this fateful night and admitted he felt great satisfaction after defeating the Irishman.
The Russian champion said he gets no pleasure from inflicting pain on his opponents, except when he smashed McGregor in his first title-retention attempt.
“I’d say my second to last fight [against Conor Mcregor]. You all know who it was against,” he said, (transcript from Express UK).
“At the beginning, when you’re just starting out and winning fights, it brings you some sort of pleasure. You enjoy it.”
“Recently, I haven’t had that. In the last couple of years, I’ve gone out there and won and it doesn’t bring me any real joy, to be honest.
“Well, with the exception of one fight, let’s say. In that fight, I beat that guy with pleasure, I tell you.”
He continued, “I had fights in my career where I understood that I could hurt my opponent more, but I’d talk to him, tell him to give up so that I don’t beat him too hard.
“For example, if I had a painful hold where I could break something, I wouldn’t tighten it all the way, it’d just fix it so that the opponent would tap out.”
“Because I have no aim to hurt anyone in this sport. Yes, we compete in a very brutal combat sport, but it’s never my goal to inflict a lot of pain on my opponent.”
“If I understand that I’m winning, I don’t aim to hurt someone bad. Well, except for one fight.”
Watch the full video below courtesy of RT Sport:
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/ Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor)