Whilst the out-of-cage action has marred the result of the main event of UFC 229. Footage and stories from the actual fight are gradually emerging as interest picks up in just how Khabib Nurmagomedov was able to take out one of the best lightweight strikes the UFC has seen. And what a shellacking the victory turned out to be. Even if McGregor had made it through all five rounds.Nurmagomedov was set to win at least 3 of the four rounds depending on whom you ask.
But making the win even more praiseworthy is that he was able to overcome some pretty blatant and underhanded techniques that McGregor is gaining a reputation for in recent fights. Such included a hand inside the Russian’s glove, having his toes in the cage, illegal knees, tugging shorts and rabbit punching. All acts are illegal and were not given much attention by referee Herb Dean.
Dean is said to be one of the best in the business however he did miss some blatantly obvious fouls on McGregor’s part. On occurred as the fighters wrestle on their feet. McGregor, on the defensive, clearly had his thumb inside Nurmagomedov’s glove to assist him in restraining the wrestling expert. What’s more, the action was on the referee’s side, meaning he was either looking elsewhere or deliberately ignoring the foul.
In the second round, when McGregor looked to be on the ropes, bound in a magnificent hold, McGregor was desperate for a way out. He resorted to getting his toes locked into the wire of the cage. Not only did this give him something to brace against, but also allowed him to alleviate pressure and make it to the end of the round. On two occasions Dean approaches and physically removes the foot, allowing the grapple to continue. During his boxing fight with Floyd Mayweather, McGregor was warned against rabbit punching.
A rabbit punch is a blow to the back of the head or to the base of the skull. It is considered especially dangerous because it can damage the cervical vertebrae and subsequently the spinal cord, which may lead to serious and irreparable spinal cord injury. But it seems the Irishman was back to his old tricks, engaging in the same practice again at the end of the 3rd round. Check out a highlight package of the fouls here.