UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has been congratulated by Vladimir Putin when they met on Wednesday, days after the fighter’s win over Conor McGregor.
The Russian President praised the 30-year-old for his victory, despite his outburst that sparked an all-out brawl in the crowd just moments after McGregor tapped out.
“You accomplished the main aim, you won, won with dignity and it was convincing,” he said.
Also present in the get-together was Khabib’s father, who made headlines when his son addressed media after the chaos that ensued the UFC 229 event.
“I know my father [is] gonna smash me when I go home,” he said on Saturday.
However, Khabib will be hoping to catch a break after their meeting with the world leader, who tells him “I will ask your father not to punish you very cruelly.”
The UFC champion defended his actions to Putin by suggesting that he acted within reason because McGregor had previously offended him.
“For now they are only talking about my jump [out of the octagon], even though I performed quite well. In comparison with his behaviour, his disrespect towards me, my parents, my country, I behaved with dignity,” he said.
Khabib is still awaiting a punishment to be handed down by Nevada State Athletic Commission, but will likely face a lengthy ban from fighting in the UFC and may have his title belt stripped.