Khabib Nurmagomedov Jokes With UFC Referee Herb Dean Over Letting Conor McGregor 'Cheat' In Title Fight
Khabib Nurmagomedov and his team jokingly asked Herb Dean how much he was paid to allow Conor McGregor's cheating antics at UFC 229.
Khabib defended his lightweight title by forcing bitter rival McGregor to tap out to a neck crack in the fourth round of the bout at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
However, the Dagestani fighter was extremely angry that he lost one of only two rounds in his perfect career, against McGregor - as the judges gave the third round to the Irishman.
'The Notorious' fighter produced a plethora of illegal strikes that went unpunished, grabbed Khabib's hands and held onto the cage, while Dean was heard shouting "don't grab the shorts" at one point.
Years on from the 2018 encounter, it still irks Khabib. During a meeting with Dean backstage at a UFC event, 'The Eagle asked,"Coach, how much do you think they paid him?" - to which his coach replied: "I don't know; Herb, how much?"
"I was trying to do a good job,"
The coach continued, asking: "Were you well-compensated, though?"
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"That's the thing; I've never been well-compensated," was the response from Dean, who was 2-3 in MMA before he became an official.
Khabib finished by saying, "Coach, it's okay I forgive him".
lol khabib asks herb dean "how much money did ufc pay to him to allow conor to cheat in his fight" pic.twitter.com/fGYuHaQB3V- Sophia (@Sophia99554652) February 28, 2021
In October 2020, two years on from the Las Vegas bout, McGregor was boasting about his illegal knee strike to Khabib and said the maneuver should be "legalized".
The knee into the eye socket was illegal yes, from this position. A beauty tho. Never before seen shot. Like many of my shots.- Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 22, 2020
I use the mount defence leg as a spring board, loading the knee below it. Release and straight to the eye socket. Smashed it in! @joerogan. Hey Dana :joy: pic.twitter.com/qZAcbbuIHS
This strike should not be illegal. Should actually be enshrined! Look at him cower his head after it and keep it tucked. Kept honest! Guy is latched onto my arm not letting go. Everything bar biting and gouging should be permitted here. Are we fighting or what are we doing here?- Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 22, 2020
With what happened in the build-up to the fight, and the explosive aftermath, there's still very much huge animosity between both men.
The clamour for a rematch is big, but Khabib's retirement from the sport following the death of his father last year means it is unlikely to materialise.
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