Olympic gymnast hits back in Conor McGregor photo furore

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·2-min read
Karolina Sevastyanova and Conor McGregor, pictured here in the controversial photo.
Karolina Sevastyanova posted a photo with Conor McGregor. Image: Instagram

Karolina Sevastyanova has set the record straight after fans criticised a photo she posted with Conor McGregor recently.

The Russian gymnast, who won gold at the 2012 Olympics in London, took to social media recently to share a happy snap with UFC legend McGregor.

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However she received backlash from fans, with many Russians fuming that she’d show support for the fierce rival of Russian UFC star Khabib Nurmagomedov.

A number of other fans commented that Sevastyanova and McGregor looked very cosy, suggesting there was something untoward going on considering they both have partners.

Now, Sevastyanova has hit out on social media and smacked down anyone who thinks there was anything more than a photo.

The 25-year-old said both she and McGregor were with their partners when the photo happened.

“Guys, stop asking me these questions!” she said.

“I approached him with my man, and he was with his wife.”

The photo appears to have taken place in Monaco where Sevastyanova resides.

McGregor recently visited the principality with wife Dee Devlin, posting a number of snaps on his own Instagram page.

Conor McGregor and Dee Devlin, pictured here in Las Vegas in 2016.
Conor McGregor and Dee Devlin in Las Vegas in 2016. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Wynn Las Vegas)

Sevastyanova targeted by Russian UFC fans

Sevastyanova won gold in rhythmic gymnastics at the London Olympics, and was all-round champion at the 2012 European Games and 2010 Youth Olympics.

She has since retired from the sport and has taken up modelling.

Sevastyanova’s photo was flooded with comments from unhappy Russian fans, many making mention of McGregor’s hatred for Khabib.

“I thought this was photoshopped,” one wrote, seemingly in disbelief.

Another wrote: “Tell him Khabib’s better.”

Khabib beat McGregor at UFC 229 in 2018, a bout most remembered for the ugly scenes after the bell when Khabib jumped out of the cage and attacked McGregor’s crew, followed by Khabib’s crew jumping into the cage and doing the same to McGregor.

The pair have since traded nasty verbal barbs on social media, with McGregor even mocking Khabib’s father’s coma before he died earlier this month.

McGregor then backtracked on those comments and paid tribute to Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov after his death.