Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor have had a long stemming rivalry.
What many don’t realize is that the two initially engaged in a heated confrontational altercation all the way back in 2016.
Despite hearing Khabib brag that he would “smash” his opponent in the Octagon, the Russian did not back down from the Irishman.
As expected from McGregor, he responded with blows of his own. He also refused to back down as the situation got more tense, prompting security to intervene. As for Khabib’s “smash” comment, McGregor said, “we will see.”
You’re probably asking why they got into an argument that night. The answer is because they were both training for a bout at UFC 205.
By finishing off Eddie Alvarez in just two rounds, McGregor cemented his place in UFC annals. Meanwhile, Khabib was also competing that night. As he submitted Michael Johnson in the third round of their bout.
Another significant nugget is that UFC had initially had Khabib Nurmagomedov sign to face Eddie Alvarez – which then they used as a chip to bargain to get Alvarez to agree to face Conor McGregor.
The two were amicable prior to the incident.
Even after both combatants won, tensions continued to rise between them. As evidenced by this clip showing how they became so hot that they had to be separated by security.
This incident in 2016 was the beginning of a fantastic rivalry between Khabib and McGregor. It was the beginning of something unique for UFC.
When McGregor stormed the bus on which Khabib and other UFC athletes were riding to UFC 223, things had clearly gone too far.
When Khabib and McGregor finally met in the UFC Octagon in October 2018, tensions between the two were at an all-time high. Drawing 2.4 million pay-per-view sales.
Khabib defeated McGregor via neck crank in round 4 and infamously charged into the audience. He would go on to retire as a champion.