clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kavanagh on Khabib’s UFC 229 actions: I didn’t think it was a big deal

John Kavanagh is willing to give Khabib Nurmagomedov a pass for reacting the way he did after his win over Conor McGregor at UFC 229 on Saturday night.

Saturday night would have been a celebratory moment for Khabib Nurmagomedov. After fulfilling his promise of “smashing” Conor McGregor, things took a sour turn when he decided to jump over the fence to attack Dillon Danis, sparking a full-scale brawl.

“The Eagle” is now facing a possible suspension, a fine, and even the stripping of his title if he would end up in the sidelines for a lengthy time. McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh however, is hoping that Khabib would up with a lighter sanction.

“I hope [The Nevada State Athletic Commission] is lenient on [Nurmagomedov],” Kavanagh said Monday’s JRE MMA Show episode (transcript via MMA Fighting) “Not just so we can get a rematch. I just love watching him fight. I can stretch myself to understand his reaction. I can’t stretch myself to understand [his teammates] reaction. For Khabib, it’s not the end of the world.”

According to a TMZ report, Danis called Khabib a “F—ng Muslim rat”, which is said to be what prompted the Dagestani to jump over the cage and charge at him. From his end, Kavanagh says he did not here Danis say anything, as he reiterated his willingness to give Khabib a pass for the incident.

“[Danis] actually didn’t say anything. I was standing beside Dillon,” Kavanagh said. “I didn’t see what he did but I could hear. He didn’t say anything. When I watched it back I could see him beckon [Nurmagomedov] on. It’s just stupid end of fight stuff. But it didn’t justify that level of response.

“Maybe there was something else in the build up. Dillon is a little bit of trouble online. But, like I said, it wasn’t that big of a deal to me what Khabib did. It just really wasn’t.”

“Like I said, if Khabib had done that isolated, I didn’t think it was a big deal,” he continued. “He didn’t really hit Dillon. There was a bit of pushing and pulling. Who cares? But a man coming up, a trained fighter with bare knuckles, hitting a guy who’s tired, who’s taken some rounds and taking some shots, there has to be ramifications for that. An example has to be made. It’s criminal. It’s assault.”

According to NSAC chairman Anthony Marnell, McGregor is now facing possible sanctions as well, after new pieces of footage of the incident was investigated upon by commission members.