Khabib Nurmagomedov is surprisingly tickled at being the target of an ill-advised act of retribution.
The lightweight contender was one of several fighters on a bus that was attacked by Conor McGregor and his entourage following Thursday’s media day for UFC 223 in Brooklyn, with videos and reports revealing McGregor smashed one of the vehicle’s windows with a dolly. An unmoved Nurmagomedov later said he’d be happy to hash out the beef with the Irishman at a locale of his choosing, per MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani.
“I am laughing inside,” Nurmagomedov said. “You broke window? Why? Come inside. You know UFC don’t let you come inside. If you real gangster why don’t you come inside? This is big history gangster place, Brooklyn. You want to talk to me? Send me location. We have to talk? I am gonna come, no problem.
McGregor and Co. reportedly swarmed the bus at Barclays Center in retaliation for an altercation between teammate Artem Lobov and Nurmagomedov from earlier this week. Nurmagomedov was on the bus with manager Ali Abdelaziz and a cornerman, as was the entire red corner of Saturday’s card. While Nurmagomedov claimed he emerged from the fiasco unscathed, lightweight Michael Chiesa sustained multiple cuts on his face once the window was smashed. Flyweight Ray Borg was also hit with broken glass, but was not cut, while Rose Namajunas was physically uninjured but shaken up.
UFC president Dana White has since said a company employee was also hurt in the melee.
All three fighters aim to compete on Saturday’s card, but Lobov has been pulled from a fight with Alex Caceres over his alleged role in the chaos.
The New York Police Department reportedly aims to question McGregor over the incident and hasn’t issued a warrant for his arrest, but Nurmagomedov hopes he doesn’t see any jail time so they can settle the score.
“To be honest, I don’t want him to go to jail,” Nurmagomedov said. “We have to fight. If we have to fight, let’s fight. Send me location. Please, we have to fix this. Me and you. One-on-one. You want 10-on-10? OK.
“I give his whole team slap and no one say anything. He come with media, with cameras when I’m alone. Of course I want to go outside but they don’t let me leave the bus. He knows this. They don’t do nothing. I’m here.”
Nurmagomedov still aims to make weight for Saturday’s lightweight title bout opposite featherweight champion Max Holloway.