- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov and his father on Wednesday.
- Putin urged the fighter’s father to cut his son some slack after he promised to punish him worse than the UFC would for inciting a massive post-fight brawl.
- The Russian president sympathised with the fighter, saying: “We all understand that it was a provocation.”
- “It’s a big pleasure that my victory brought so much joy to our multinational country. It’s our common victory,” Nurmagomedov said on Instagram after the meeting.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed his sympathy for Khabib Nurmagomedov after the Russian fighter lost his cool at UFC 229, where he beat Conor McGregor by submission in the fourth round.
Nurmagomedov stole headlines around the world after he leapt out of the cage towards his opponent’s entourage and incited a massive brawl inside the stadium.
Nevertheless, in a meeting with Nurmagomedov and his father Abdulmanap on Wednesday, President Putin congratulated the fighter on his victory.
In a video posted by Russia’s RT network, Putin compared Russia to “one big family” and asked the fighter’s father to cut him some slack after he promised to punish his son worse than the UFC for his post-fight melee.
“My team has always been famous for discipline,” Abdulmanap said at the time.
Sympathising with the fighter, Putin told the pair: “I am going to ask your father to cut you some slack because what matters most is that you fought like a fighter and you won.”
He went on: “We all understand that it was a provocation and I’m sure your father understands that too… If we are attacked from the outside, not only you, we could all jump in such a way. There could be hell to pay.”
Nurmagomedov later took to Instagram to share the moment with his followers.
“Thank you very much Vladimir Vladimirovich for the warm welcome and congratulations,” he captioned the photo, according to RT.
“It’s a big pleasure that my victory brought so much joy to our multinational country. It’s our common victory.”
Nurmagomedov was due to receive $2 million for his fight against McGregor, but the Nevada Athletic Commission is withholding his salary pending an investigation into the post-fight brawls.
The bad blood between McGregor and Nurmagomedov, which was sparked when the Russian was seen on video slapping McGregor’s teammate Artem Lobov in April, has been well documented.
The altercation with Lobov led to McGregor attacking a bus full of UFC athletes and staff.
In the build-up to the fight, McGregor mocked Nurmagomedov’s accent, called him a “smelly Dagestani rat,” thumped his arm, and even tried to kick him at the UFC 229 weigh-in.
“He talk about my religion, my country, my father. He come to Brooklyn and he broke bus and he almost kill a couple people,” Nurmagomedov said in his post-fight press conference.
“What about his s—? Why talk about I jump on the cage. I don’t understand.”