Khabib Nurmagomedov had a rough weekend in spite of getting the news he will be inducted into the UFC Hall of fame. The 29-0 phenom lost his first fight in the UFC – as a coach. This comes just a month after a different student of his dropped decision to Benson Henderson at Bellator.
Still Nurmagomedov was more than a little irked. Most of us would be irked too – if our opponent had cheated his way to victory. Bantamweight veteran Tim Elliott beat Tagir Ulanbekov via decision. But to get to that W – Elliot used every trick in the book.
Elliott started the hot streak by timing his knees to the head of Ulanbekov. As per UFC rules – knees to the head of a grounded opponent are illegal. Under the language American boxing commission passed in 2019, a fighter is considered grounded if they have anything more than just the soles of their feet on the mat. Thus, a fighter who has a fist or palm on the ground will be considered grounded and cannot be attacked with kicks or knees to the head.
In addition to landing two very questionable knees, Ulanbekov could be heard yelling to the ref “He put his fingers in my eyes” during the fight.
But Elliott wouldn’t stop short of a cheating hat-trick. He would next use the classic glove grab to stave off Ulanbekov. In addition to all of this – Elliott also got warned by the ref for stepping up to fight with his fingers extended. This wasn’t the end of it either – he would go on to glove grab yet another time. Ulanbekov yelled to the ref but nothing came of the infraction. Finally there was a third glove grab – and no penalty yet again. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Elliott also defended from the rear naked choke by inserting two fingers into the glove of Ulanbekov in order to defend himself.
All this was spotted by many UFC fans on twitter.
Of course, Ulanbekov’s cornerman Khabib Nurmagomedov was also visibly upset.
Haven’t seen Khabib this mad since he jumped Dillon Danis pic.twitter.com/I6tOLSPM51
— MMA Gone Wild? (@mmagonewild) March 6, 2022
The whole cheating compilation was captured online. Take a look:
Elliott was shameless and admitted to the whole thing during the post fight interview.
“I grabbed his glove for sure. We’re fighting – I’m grabbing everything I can. The glove is part of the hand. His hand is inside the glove, I’m trying to grab his hand, so if it’s there, you’re not going to not grab the glove.”