It was revealed that UFC lightweight stars Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov were in attendance at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia on Sunday to watch the 2018 World Cup final between France and Croatia.
After photos of McGregor and Khabib surfaced online, many expected a clash between the two lightweight rivals inside the stadium.
However both fighters were on their best behavior and seemed content to watch the
soccer football, which saw France beat Croatia 4-2 in a gripping final.
Speaking with Express.co.uk in a recent interview, ‘The Eagle’ said both he and ‘The Notorious’ were in attendance to watch the final, although he joked that it would have been better if there was a cage in the middle of the stadium.
“I thought I’d meet McGregor at the Luzhniki Stadium,” Nurmagomedov said. “But even if we meet now, we still will not be able to find out who is stronger. If there was a cage in the middle of the arena, it would be more interesting. And now something to find out on the street and so on. We are not at that age and not in that position.”
The reigning lightweight champion said he and his fellow countrymen are ‘hospitable people’, and there was never any intention to intimidate McGregor during his stay in Russia.
“It would be ideal if there were no one around. Or vice versa — to the full stadium, in the middle of the cage, and in it — we. In general, I see no reason to approach him now. We are hospitable people. Let the football look, enjoy Russia.”
McGregor, who, earlier this year launched a dolly through the window of a bus transporting Nurmagomedov and other fighters back to the hotel for April’s UFC 223 event, was also seen posing with Russian president Vladimir Putin at the weekend.
Today I was invited to the World Cup final as a guest of Russian President Vladimir Putin. This man is one of the greatest leaders of our time and I was honored to attend such a landmark event alongside him. Today was an honor for me Mr. Putin. Thank you and congratulations on an amazing World Cup. Россия вперёд!
McGregor is due back in court in New York on July 26, where the Irishman is expected to answer for his wild bus attack at UFC 223. It’s speculated that McGregor went on a rampage in New York in retaliation over Nurmagomedov’s heated encounter with Artem Lobov at the fighter’s hotel.
UFC president Dana White is hoping to book a lightweight title bout between McGregor and Khabib after McGregor’s legal troubles are sorted. Bloody Elbow will keep you updated on the court hearing on July 26.
(In other news, McGregor was also seen stroking a Russian house cat during his stay in Moscow.)