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Khabib Nurmagomedov: I attacked Dillon Danis at UFC 229 because John Kavanagh ‘can’t fight me’

Khabib Nurmagomedov went after Dillon Danis at UFC 229 because Conor McGregor’s other cornermen were “too old.”

Khabib Nurmagomedov was fed up with Conor McGregor’s camp long before the events of UFC 229.

The reigning UFC lightweight champion confirmed Dillon Danis did nothing in the moment to provoke his assault in the aftermath of UFC 229. Some have suggested Danis — a teammate of McGregor’s — may have called out the champion cage side but that is not the case.

“No, I didn’t hear him, you know,” Nurmagomedov assured in a video published by Submission Radio. “I didn’t hear him, it was too loud.”

Instead, the assault on Danis was a consequence of his age.

“I jumped on him because other corner is too old; because Conor’s other corner, other coaches, too old, and that’s why I jumped on him,” said Nurmagomedov (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “Because he’s almost like my age.”

After all, “If I jumped on [coach John] Kavanagh, I don’t think it’s too — cause Kavanagh can’t fight me. That’s why I jumped on [Danis].”

If he had it his way, Nurmagomedov would have gone all Incredible Hulk on the entire SBG Ireland clan.

“I don’t like his whole team. I have choice what I’m gonna do, but all other old coaches were too old for me. They cannot fight with me,” he reiterated. “They’re almost like my father’s age.”

Nurmagomedov’s main motivator heading into UFC 229 was punishment. He wanted to punish McGregor for his pre-fight antics and the team at SBG Ireland by association.

“I’m looking for punishment, first of all,” the Dagestan fighter said of the sanctioned fight with McGregor. “I wanted to make him tired. It’s very good when he tapped. It meant a lot for me [when he] tapped.”

“‘Please,’ he asked me, ‘Finish.’ This is much better than knockout,” Nurmagomedov insisted. “If I knocked him out in the second round, you go down, but people gonna talk about, ‘Oh, it’s luck,’ you know. But what about if you smash him all four rounds and he taps? It’s finished there. No more. I don’t think he ever wants to compete with me. Because he felt everything. He feel my mental, he felt my control, my striking and all that, and he tapped too.”

There has been some level of debate to what exactly McGregor told Nurmagomedov in between rounds. “It’s only business,” seems to be the most popular theory floating around. McGregor recently suggested he told his opponent “don’t be b—ching,” not “it’s only business.”

Nurmagomedov disagrees. “You know, he tried to make me relax. We already finished a three-round fight and then he beginning, tried to talk about this only business,” he explained. “It just showed his weakness.”

“In the first round for a couple of minutes, he’s not bad,” Nurmagomedov said of McGregor’s performance early in the fight. “But after that he’s slow and weak. He tried to talk with me about, ‘Oh, this is only business’. You know, this meant for me, ‘Please, calm down, don’t smash me.”

Nurmagomedov decisively stopped McGregor via fourth round neck crank at UFC 229 on Oct. 6. The champion’s fight future is in limbo as he awaits a resolution to sanctions placed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in response to the brawl. That meeting is planned for January 29th. Nurmagomedov is pitching a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, putting the future of the UFC’s lightweight division in further limbo.