UFC 229: Khabib defeats Conor to retain title

Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Conor McGregor by virtue of a tap-out to retain his lightweight championship title.

Conor McGregor, right, and Khabib Nurmagomedov face off during a ceremonial weigh-in for the UFC 229 mixed martial arts fight .   -  AP

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's live coverage of the UFC 229 bout between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov taking place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.


Thanks for tuning in. Here's the detailed match report: Khabib defeats McGregor to retain title before mayhem mars UFC 229

Both Conor and Khabib have been escorted out of the octagon by an army of security. It's a pity that a fight of this magnitude had to end this way.

It's a mad scene here. Khabib argues with the officials while Conor remains calm and composed in his corner.

All hell breaks loose here! Khabib jumps put of the octagon to attack someone in the crowd, while his a member of his team races into the ring to attack Conor! THIS IS INSANE!

 

HE'S DONE IT! KHABIB DEFEATS CONOR! Khabib wins the fight virtue of a tap-out. He had the Irishman locked in a chin-hold and continues to remain the undefeated champion.

The crowd is chanting Conor's name as we head into the fourth round.

That's the third round. It's been a much better round for Conor this time around.

HUGE UPPER CUT from Conor! He looks much better in the third round, while Khabib appears to be a tad fatigued.

That's the end of the second round. Khabib was all over Conor. The Irishman has had no answers to Khabib's grapples so far.

Is Conor trying to gas Khabib out or is he getting smashed?

Khabib doing what he does best. He's got Conor pinned to the ground and is raining punches on his face. Conor looks like he's in trouble!

WOW, WHAT A PUNCH! Khabib unleashes a ferocious right hander, leaving Conor momentarily stunned.

Conor has spent a large majority of the first round on the mat, with Khabib using all his might to keep him pinned down.

Khabib has Conor pinned to the ground. The Russian has squeezed Conor's legs together and Conor has nowhere to go.

The fighters refuse to touch gloves and we're off!

And here's Khabib. He looks supremely focused! We got a fight on our hands! 

 

Conor is out on the mat and he looks psyched!

 

The biggest fight in the history of the UFC: Conor McGregor versus Khabib Nurmagomedov is about to get underway in less than five minutes from now. YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS THIS!

 

#UFC229: The moment you've been waiting for is finally here! It's time for #ConorvsKhabib!

Tony Ferguson wins against Anthony Pettis by virtue of a TKO.

 

Dominic Reyes defeats Ovince Preux by a unanimous decision. We're now only one fight away from the main event of the evening: Conor vs Khabib!

 

Derrick Lewis knocks out Alexander Volkov to register the first KO of the evening!

We have a winner! Waterson ousts Herrig 3-0 by a unanimous decision. "I want to the first UFC champion who's a mom," says the 32-year-old.

 

Oops, looks like we got a little confused. The pay-per-view has begun with a fight between Felice Herrig and Michelle Waterson.

Champ in the house!

 

We're minutes away from action from what could be the biggest UFC fight of all time! Who will emerge the victor tonight? Will Khabib successfully defend his title or will Conor make a winning return to the octagon?

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Lightweight champion Nurmagomedov will defend his title in an eagerly anticipated clash with McGregor this morning. Khabib remains undefeated, but he faces a tough test against former champion McGregor as the Irishman returns to the octagon after a near two-year lay-off in which he fought boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.

There is plenty of history and hatred between McGregor (21-3) and Khabib (26-0) after the former was involved in an attack on a bus at a UFC 223 media day in April.

It came following a reported run-in between Khabib and McGregor's training partner Artem Lobov – McGregor later turning himself into police and pleading guilty to disorderly conduct.

"If it goes the distance it'll be Khabib, but if its a knockout early then it'll be Conor," says Chris Pratt. Do you agree?

 

What's on the line?

McGregor will hope to reclaim the lightweight title he won in his last fight against Eddie Alvarez in 2016, later stripped as the Irishman spent time away from the sport.

After various interim championship fights, Khabib took the vacant title in April of this year when he beat Al Iaquinta in New York.

Conor gets into Khabib's head?

McGregor is known to get into his opponent's head before a fight. And on Thursday, him and Khabib were supposed to front the media together. Khabib, however, was left on the stage alone – sat across from an empty McGregor table as the Russian fielded questions by himself.

"15 minutes. I'm here. This guy is not, "Nurmagomedov told reporters. "This is big disrespect."

"He's late," Nurmagomedov said. "I have schedule, 3pm it is time for this conference to begin. Because I have schedule. I have to make weight, I have to worry about myself. Why do I have to worry about him? If somebody is late, it is not my fault.

"Weight cut is always hard. Always is hard. Thursday, this is my weight-cut day, that's why I don't want to be waiting for someone 30 minutes, 40 minutes. 3pm is press conference."

Big money

Asked about the money he could collect from the clash at T-Mobile Arena, McGregor said, "We're estimating around 3 to 3.5m [pay-per-view buys], I'd say I'll close in around the $50m mark.

"So, for a mixed martial artist to make $50m from a mixed martial arts bout, it's quite breathtaking."

McGregor added: "I'm 30 now, say by about 35 I'll be a billionaire."

Devastating KO

McGregor has been very vocal about his plans on dealing with Nurmagomedov.

"Devastating KO," McGregor said during Wednesday's open training session. "Too easy to hit. Too flat-footed. Too predictable. I'm gonna knock him clean out.

"I'm gonna come out the gate fast. I don't give a f*** about anything – any wrestling, any technique, any anything.

"I'm coming for that man's head from the f****** bell. Trust me on that."