Khabib Nurmagomedov didn’t understand why everybody was so upset with him for jumping over the cage and going after one of Conor McGregor’s teammates after winning at UFC 229.
Now it appears Nurmagomedov has an unexpected ally in that argument — McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh.
On Monday, Kavanagh appeared on the ‘Joe Rogan Podcast’ where he addressed the melee that happened just seconds after Nurmagomedov submitted McGregor with a fourth round rear naked choke.
Immediately afterwards, Nurmagomedov leapt over the cage to go after McGregor’s grappling partner Dillon Danis, who was reportedly shouting at him following the end of the fight.
A melee ensued that included Nurmagomedov’s manager as well as two teammates, who got into a physical altercation with McGregor while he was still inside the Octagon.
Arrests were made but McGregor opted not to press any charges and Kavanagh doesn’t believe Nurmagomedov should face any significant punishment for his role in the brawl.
“I hope they’re lenient on him and not just so we can get a rematch,” Kavanagh said. “I love watching him fight for a start and I can stretch myself to understand his reaction. I can’t stretch myself to understand the other guy’s reactions and what they did [going after Conor].
“For Khabib he jumped over the cage and he jumped someone. It’s not the end of the world.”
The Nevada State Athletic Commission obviously has a different opinion with plans to file grievances against both Nurmagomedov and McGregor for what happened after their fight ended.
Nurmagomedov instigated the entire situation and video shows McGregor taking a swing at one of the Russian’s teammates after they both jumped on top of the cage. McGregor was then assaulted by two more of Nurmagomedov’s teammates, who were reportedly fighters signed to the UFC who Dana White later said would be released from the promotion.
Still, Kavanagh doesn’t believe it was that serious of an incident and he’s not losing any sleep over Nurmagomedov’s actions.
“It wasn’t that big a deal to me what Khabib did,” Kavanagh said. “It just really wasn’t.”