Putin Congratulates Nurmagomedov After McGregor Win, Issues Veiled Warning

Vladimir Putin hails Khabib Nurmagomedov's UFC win during meeting

In a statement posted on Instagram on Thursday, Nurmagomedov warns the UFC that they will "lose me too" if they chose to fire teammate Zubaira Tukhugov, whose fight was recently cancelled after Tukhugov punched Conor McGregor during Saturday's melee.

Russian President Vladimir Putin met mixed martial arts champion Khabib Nurmagomedov on Wednesday, saying that he did not deserve harsh punishment for a recent post-fight brawl.

Nurmagomedov jumped out of the cage before leaping feet first at McGregor's team mate and cornerman Dillon Danis.

He went on: "We all understand that it was a provocation and I'm sure your father understands that too".

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".

If one fighter attacking another outside the parameters of a professional fight is cause for a ban, how did McGregor manage to throw a hand truck into a bus full of UFC fighters, injuring some of them, with his teammate and UFC featherweight Artem Lobov along for the ride, and yet no one lost their jobs over it?

In any case, punish me, [Zubaira Tukhugov] has nothing to do with that.

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The NSAC is expected to file complaints on Nurmagomedov and McGregor for their roles in the incident.

White refused to give Nurmagomedov his lightweight championship belt in the octagon over fears what the angry crowd would do, leaving the Russian fighter requiring a Las Vegas metropolitan police escort out of the building.

"Don't forget that it was Conor who had hit my another brother first, just check the video", he added.

He then vowed to quit if his brother was sacked, and explained that he didn't care about whether or not he was paid: "If you decide to fire him, you should know that you'll lose me too".

He said: "Why didn't you fire anyone when their team attacked the bus and injured a couple of people?" And one more thing, you can keep my money that you are withholding. "We have defended our honor and this is the most important thing".

Also, no matter how mad he might be if Tukhugov is fired, it's not like Nurmagomedov can just resign as UFC champion if he doesn't like how he's being treated - ask Randy Couture. Three of the Russian's team were arrested and later released. McGregor caught wind of the argument and flew from Ireland to NY to confront Nurmagomedov at a pre-fight event.

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