Conor Vs Khabib: What Happens Next After UFC 229 Post-Fight Brawl?
By this point, we all know what happened at UFC 229 this weekend. Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov squared off against each other, Khabib won a pretty standard victory with a fourth-round choke hold, and then everything in the arena went a bit weird.
Conor was attacked in the ring, Khabib attacked people outside of the ring, fans brawled amongst themselves in the concourses of the T-Mobile Arena in Nevada. It was chaos, but that was to be expected after the bad blood between the two fighters, their camps, and their friends.
But, the real question is - what happens next?
Obviously, there are quite a few cards on the table. Let's have a look at what the options are.
The obvious solution would be a rematch. First and foremost, that offers the largest financial opportunity, which makes it a promising prospect.
It offers Conor the chance to redeem himself, Khabib the opportunity to prove he can win again (without wrecking the gaff afterwards, if possible) and - perhaps most importantly - it offers the UFC a chance to show that it can put on a huge show like this without it boiling over into total and utter nonsense.
In the immediate aftermath of the events in Las Vegas, Conor tweeted: "Good knock. Looking forward to the rematch."
Good knock. Looking forward to the rematch.
- Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 7, 2018
He's on board. That's a start. It's not just that simple, though.
For his role in the brawl that followed the real bout, Khabib has had his share of the cash - about $2m - withheld by the Nevada State Athletic Commission pending an investigation that executive director Bob Bennett promised would "leave no stone unturned".
The Commission sanctioned the fight and is pretty annoyed and presumably pretty embarrassed about how it turned out.
After the fight, UFC supremo Dana White said that he didn't know what the NSAC would want to do but couldn't rule out a lengthy suspension for Khabib. That could even lead to him being stripped of the UFC lightweight belt that he defended successfully against McGregor.
White said: "We'll see. The NSAC is going to hand down some type of fine or suspension, we'll see. I don't know. If he gets suspended, it depends how long it is but yeah he will probably get stripped if it's a long suspension."
Khabib did try to apologise - well, sort of - after the fight. In a short press conference, he said: "First of all, I want to say sorry to Nevada Athletic Commission and second to Vegas.
"I know this is not my best side. I'm a human being. But I don't understand how people can talk about how I jump on the cage. He talked about my religion, he talked about my country, he talked about my father."
That might buy him some leniency from the NSAC. You'd have to be a huge Conor McGregor fan to believe that his taunting before the fight wasn't a little below the belt.
Even after that there is the small matter of the criminal charges that Khabib could face for the post-fight punch up. Any criminal charges could make it difficult for the Russian fighter to get a visa to enter the United States in future. Is Conor going to go to Russia for a rematch after this?
Admittedly, Conor was also taken to criminal court for his role in the bus attack that initiated the bad blood between the fighters. That didn't stop the fight in Vegas going ahead.
Basically, it's as clear as mud. You can bet your life that if a rematch can be made, and both fighters want it, it will happen. There is simply too much at stake financially, as well as in terms of interest and the reputation of the sport.
The real question is whether it will be allowed after Saturday night's shenanigans. Interesting times ahead, as ever, for UFC fans.
Featured Image Credit: PA