Examining McGregor’s rule bending against Khabib four years later

Today marks the 4th anniversary from UFC’s biggest PPV event to date. On this day in 2018 Conor McGregor was booked to face Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Previously, McGregor’s stardom influenced UFC into bumping Khabib Nurmagomedov from the title bout against Eddie Alvarez paving the road for McGregor to become the first ever two division champion in UFC. Nurmagomedov was somewhat upset about the choice not to mention any of the personal attacks McGregor directed at him.

According to his own account much of the camp was dedicated to countering Nurmagomedov’s wrestling – but it wasn’t enough. This is why McGregor openly admitted and rationalized his choice to bend the rules.

Considering his status in the promotion it’s very hard to conceive McGregor being penalized for boundary pushing behavior at the event.

Conor McGregor is often lauded for his striking skill – but he’s also a seasoned cheater in MMA. He often utilizes dirty moves – and in fact he even bragged about it repeatedly on twitter.

McGregor also repeatedly grabbed onto Nurmagomedov’s shorts, stuck his toes in the fence and used other ‘dirty’ tactics to thwart skilled opponents.

But fans labeling UFC’s biggest star as a cheater doesn’t sit right with the defenders of the brand.

Sonnen has been nothing short of a UFC mouthpiece as of late – which is probably why he’s recently made excuses for the behavior McGregor personally admitted.

On his YouTube channel, ‘The American Gangster’ shared that there’s a difference between breaking rules and cheating:

“You can break a rule without cheating, for sure. Think of basketball, something less important than combat sports in terms of damage. But think about traveling.”


“Traveling is against the rules. You break the rule, you’ll even be punished for it. There will be a foul, it will be recognized. Are you a cheater? It’s one of those hard things. :

“You can make a mistake, you can do an accident. I only share that with you, I don’t know what’s in Conor’s mind. In all fairness, when you’re talking about all those clips,”

“I’ve seen those clips, I’ve seen him hold the glove, I’ve seen the toes in the cage. It comes down to intent.”

“Breaking the rule and intending to break the rule ahead of time and get away with it is largely – I haven’t looked up the definition – what we all as people associate with cheating.”