“Even Khabib Was a Fan, Conor Made the UFC What It Is Today” – UFC World in Shock as Rare Khabib & Conor McGregor Photo Goes Viral

Published 12/30/2022, 4:31 PM EST

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With their rivalry, Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov have taken the UFC to greater heights. However, before the two had their differences set out, Nurmagomedov looked up to McGregor as his idol. The two fighters are a perfect example of how idols can turn into rivals. The Dagestani warrior was indeed a fanboy. Nonetheless, with the Dubliner climbing up in the weight category, the two were destined to fall into an altercation and become rivals. Recently, a couple of pictures were shared by ESPN, which showed the journey of the two former champions from being idols to rivals. 

Without a second thought, the fans took over the comments section with thoughts about what could have been if the two never became rivals. Undeniably, the UFC world was split in two, with one half standing with McGregor and the other with Nurmagomedov.


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Nurmagomedov had his fanboy moment with Conor McGregor 

Recently, ESPN MMA refreshed the fans’ memories with a photograph of McGregor and Nurmagomedov together. The picture was from 2014, with a tweet from the ‘Eagle’ saying, “With CONOR McGREGOR after his unbelievable victory in UFC 178.” However, the picture was followed by another, where the two were facing each other as rivals.


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A post shared by ESPN MMA (@espnmma)

Although the fighters seemingly settled their differences in the Octagon, the heat they emanated is yet to be cooled down. Without a doubt, fans overtook the comments sections and showed their awe at the fighters. Furthermore, the fans could not stop themselves from wondering about what they could have had the two never become rivals.


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“Beat the Whole Khabib Team in Less Than a Minute” – Resurfaced Video of Conor McGregor Narrating UFC 229 Brawl Makes Fans Nostalgic

Here is what the fans had to say:

  • Even khabib was a fan, conor made the ufc what it is today
  • The man was a fan
  • Few years later… “Lets talk now”
  • Can’t imagine how crazy it would be to see them train together
  • When Idols become rivals
  • What could’ve been if they both became friends
  • Bro went from praising Conor to Mauling him.
  • In an alternate universe, mcgregor stays at 145 and is the champ and khabib is 155 champ. And they are friends and maybe train together 
  • Could you imagine if they never beefed and they trained together instead

The brawl after UFC 229 main event


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The ‘Notorious’ and the ‘Eagle’ landed against each other in UFC 229. Although the bout was associated with a boatload of energy and anticipation, what happened after the fight raised the adrenaline levels a notch higher.

via Getty

Nurmagomedov, with his superior grappling skills, made the ‘Mystic Mac’ tap out in the fourth round of the fight. However, the Dagestani fighter was not satisfied with the win. He jumped off the cage and landed in the middle of the Irishman’s team, and ignited a brawl. However, after a couple of years, Nurmagomedov decided to quit and become a coach. While McGregor is on the road to achieving even more.


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Watch This Story: Watch: Conor McGregor Trains Bare-Knuckle Ahead of Sensational UFC Return

What are your thoughts on one of the biggest rivalries of the UFC? Let us know in the comments down below.


Written by:

Krushna Prasad Pattnaik


One take at a time

Krushna Pattnaik is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Coming from a pharmaceutical background with a master's degree in the same and multiple scientific publications, his passion for combat sports and writing brought him to EssentiallySports, where both of his passions met in a beautiful collaboration. He is an instrumentalist and has a profound love for books.
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Edited by:

Vineet Nandwana