Vladimir Putin congratulates Khabib Nurmagomedov
Last Updated: 11/10/18 8:52am
Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Khabib Nurmagomedov in person after the UFC lightweight champion retained his title against Conor McGregor in a bout overshadowed by a post-fight brawl.
Putin received Nurmagomedov and his father and coach Abdulmanap in Ulyanovsk, on the banks of the Volga River, just a few days after Khabib's submission win over McGregor which was followed by fights breaking out in and around the cage.
Nurmagomedov jumped out of the Octagon before leaping feet first at McGregor's team-mate Dillon Danis at the end of the showdown. Three of the Russian's team were arrested and later released although Nurmagomedov faces a lengthy UFC suspension.
In the wake of the bout, Khabib's father revealed his displeasure at his son's actions, saying: "My team has always been known for its discipline, hence my sanctions to Khabib will be much stronger than the UFC's."
Nurmagomedov told Putin he was sorry that he lost self-control, but that he had heard McGregor's camp insulting his father and his country. Putin gave the fighter a mild lecture over his behaviour before acknowledging his one-sided win, telling him: "you won worthily and convincingly".
Putin told him a Russian must restrain himself while at home in his own country, which he called "a big family, but when attacked from the outside, may respond appropriately".
"In a family anything can happen, (but) we never allow ourselves to go beyond certain limits," Putin said.
"But if they attack us from the outside, of course, not just you - all of us can jump in such a way, they won't know what hit them," said Putin, nevertheless cautioning Nurmagomedov that "it's better not to take things so far".