‘Many People Criticized Me for Jumping the Fence’- Khabib Nurmagomedov Compares Zinedine Zidane Headbutt to Conor McGregor’s Brawl

Published 09/01/2021, 10:16 AM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia announces his retirement in the Octagon after his victory over Justin Gaethje 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)


Khabib Nurmagomedov shares his view over Zinedine Zidane’s controversial head-butting incident. The former UFC champ believes everyone has the right to defend their honor.

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‘The Eagle’ appeared at the press conference of one of the biggest deals in Russian sports history. He talked about many things at the event. When asked about Zidane’s head-butting incident, Nurmagomedov compared it to his controversial incident at UFC 229 against Conor McGregor.

Nurmagomedov said, “I didn’t discuss this incident with anyone. Football is a bigger sport than MMA. As an MMA fighter, you represent yourself more than your country. In football, especially if it’s a championship final, you represent an entire country. I’m 50/50 on the incident. If you have the right to defend your honor in that sense, I understand him.”

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He added, “But on the other hand, your actions have an effect on the football history of an entire nation. So I’m 50/50. One side of me supports him, but the other says you have to think of the consequences. It is easy for us to sit and discuss it. But when you’re in that position, you act based on the situation. Many people criticized me for jumping over the cage, but they weren’t in my position and didn’t feel what I felt, so I don’t want to judge that event. I’m 50/50 on it.” 

‘The Eagle’ fought his last battle against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. He successfully defended his lightweight gold for the fourth time straight. The Russian hanged his gloves after that fight.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov Signs One of the Biggest Deals of His Career

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – SEPTEMBER 07: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia celebrates his submission victory over Dustin Poirier in their lightweight championship bout during UFC 242 at The Arena on September 7, 2019 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The former UFC champion is doing great things since he retired from fighting. The (29-0) record holder mentors his long-time friend Islam Makhachev for his UFC career.

‘The Eagle’ also owns an MMA promotion in Russia. Recently, Nurmagomedov signed a hude deal with a Moscow Brewing Company. He is now the brand ambassador of Gorilla Energy, which also stages its own MMA tournaments. The Dagestan native took to social media to share the news.

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He wrote, “Today was the biggest signing in the history of Russian Sports. Interestingly, everything works out, well, let it be….@gorillaenergy, @gorillafighting, you are just a bomb and we will not let you down.”

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It seems like the 29-year-old has been a busy man since his retirement from the MMA and his return to fighting seems far from possible now.

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Afnan Chougle

142 articles

Afnan Chougle is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. Besides writing, this Media graduate is an integral part of the digital web stories team for combat sports. Before joining EssentiallySports, Afnan gained valuable experience as an intern at Jiostudios Production House.

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