The war of words between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov rumbles on, with Nurmagomedov bringing up McGregor’s UFC bus attack from earlier this year during a 90-minute interview with Russian TV channel Channel 1, alleging that the UFC played a part in organizing it.
When discussing the now infamous post-fight brawl that broke out between Nurmagomedov and members of McGregor’s crew, the Russian fighter claimed the incident would never have happened had the Irish fighter not attacked the bus Nurmagomedov was on in Brooklyn at the press day for UFC 223 in April.
The interview, conducted in Russian, was translated by MMA Mania. Check out excerpts below.
“I was offended that all the hype leading up to this fight focused on the idea that he attacked and I didn’t get off the bus," Nurmagomedov said. "It was a shame and I asked the Almighty for the fight to happen and the cage door to close with us in it so everyone could find out who is who. Who actually sits on the bus and who doesn’t.
“All the other situations, it has been me with my team of about 20 people… But in the end, I was told for media day I have to go alone. I was riding not with my team but with all the other red corner fighters on the card. So I had one man and my manager with me.
“When I think back, there are so many questions I don’t have the answer to. Did they do it all on purpose? In my personal opinion, I feel like the bus incident was organized with UFC’s help. I can’t accuse them, but I would give it 70 percent that they did it. I wanted to get off the bus and all the other fighters on the bus confirmed this in their interviews, and all the managers as well.
“It all happened in a minute in a half, two minutes max. He’s there with his cameras and his PR team with him shooting. An important point: the Barclays Center is a very big arena, a 20,000-person arena, but he knew where we were exactly. How could they have known? And how did they enter the arena with a gang of 20, 30 men? Come on.
“Conor has nothing to do with this media event and has a gang with him, but these jokers lead him and everyone to the elevator where our bus is? I’m an athlete, but I’m also educated. My brain works pretty well for 15 years of fighting. I haven’t taken many shots to the head so I still have brains.”
As yet, UFC has not responded to Nurmagomedov's accusation.
What are your thoughts on Nurmagomedov’s allegation? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
In other news, Khabib recently threatened to quit UFC in support of one of his teammates. Find out more here.