VIDEO: Khabib Nurmagomedov Misses Conor McGregor by Whiskers in Hotel Lobby

Published 01/20/2021, 5:10 AM EST
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 20: Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov faces-off with Conor McGregor during the UFC 229 Press Conference at Radio City Music Hall on September 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)


UFC lightweight royalty Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor almost had a run-in with each other on Fight Island. The two 155-pounders are fierce rivals apart from just being top-tier fighters on the UFC’s ever-growing roster.

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Things rarely end well when they cross paths. Dan Hardy’s Full Reptile captured the sequence of events on tape that showed the 30-second delay in a possible run-in.

Their potential interaction has been a hotly debated topic, and it’s clear that fans are dying to see how things would pan out.

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Fans look back to UFC 229 and the now infamous post-fight brawl that took the MMA world by storm. Not to mention the ‘dolly incident’ that went down in the parking lot of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

There’s a storied history of bad blood between McGregor and Nurmagomedov that goes beyond the fight game in some respects.

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor: Close call

Both men have vastly different purposes for visiting Fight Island; however, their respective schedules have definitely been well-publicized.

Conor McGregor will make his return at UFC 257 against Dustin Poirier in a high stakes rematch from 2014. McGregor last fought at UFC 246 back in January 2020 before he announced his retirement in mid-2020.

On the other hand, ‘The Eagle’ has come back to Fight Island to fulfill his obligation of meeting Dana White. The UFC President has been hyping the sit-down with the Dagestani phenom that was meant to determine his future in the UFC.

The lightweight champion announced his retirement at UFC 254 and left the sport at 29-0.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: (R-L) Justin Gaethje kicks Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia in their lightweight title bout during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The take-away from their sit-down was that ‘The Eagle’ would indeed come back for another fight based on the performances of the challengers.

He explained that should one of the top competitors impress him, he would undoubtedly find his way back to defend his throne. Furthermore, Nurmagomedov also came down to coach a fighter and will make his way back to Vegas following that.

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Regardless of the circumstances, a McGregor-Khabib interaction would have been extremely interesting given their history. There’s plenty to be said about their respective star power looking at what a mere run-in between them signifies.

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Darryl Pinto

1600 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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