Vladimir Putin has met with Khabib Nurmagomedov after his crazy rampage at UFC 229, issuing a stern warning to the Russian fighter.
Putin met the UFC champion on Wednesday, saying that he did not deserve harsh punishment for the post-fight brawl.
The Russian strongman appeared on state television meeting the fighter, who defended his lightweight title against Conor McGregor on Saturday, along with his father.
Nurmagomedov faces a possible suspension over the post-fight fracas and has not received his prize money, though he will keep his title.
Despite the controversy, he has received a hero’s welcome in Russia and blasted his opponent as a “dimwit”.
Putin gave the fighter a mild lecture over his behaviour, but stressed that any Russian will respond forcefully to an attack from the outside.
“I will ask your dad not to punish you harshly,” the president told the 30-year-old fighter from the mainly Muslim Dagestan region, adding that “you won worthily and convincingly”.
Putin said that like other Russians he had “closely followed” the fight in Las Vegas and “got emotionally involved”.
After the fight, Nurmagomedov jumped over the fence and apparently tried to attack his opponent’s training partner. The crowd was so hostile that the UFC president Dana White did not present the Russian with his belt.
Nurmagomedov expressed no remorse, telling Putin he responded to “disrespect” and “provocations” from his opponent and that he hoped to be vindicated.
Putin told him that 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…there could be hell to pay.”
New video shows moment McGregor was king-hit
Fresh vision has emerged of the sickening moment Conor McGregor was king-hit at UFC 229.
In crazy scenes after his victory over McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov jumped out of the Octagon and attacked the Irishman’s teammate Dillon Danis.
McGregor then attempted to join the fray, throwing a punch at Khabib’s cousin on top of the cage.
That prompted two of Khabib’s crew to jump into the Octagon and attack McGregor, one from in front and one from behind.
Zubaira Tukhugov king-hit McGregor from behind, and new video has captured the awful moment in full.
We’ve previously only seen Tukhugov hit McGregor from behind, but the new vision uploaded to Twitter shows it from the front angle.
Tukhugov climbs into the Octagon and after McGregor swings at his other friend, the Russian whacks McGregor in the side of the head, completely blindsiding him.