Khabib Nurmagomedov thinks the Conor McGregor bus attack was set up
Khabib retained the belt with a fourth round submission but sparked chaotic scenes when he jumped out of the Octagon and attacked McGregor’s friend Dillon Danis.
The event was the most-anticipated in UFC history with McGregor returning to action for the first time in two years.
And the hype around it was ramped up by the rivalry between Notorious and the Eagle.
The hate between the pair was increased earlier this year when McGregor attacked a bus carrying Khabib and other fights during the media day ahead of UFC 223 in April.
McGregor was arrested but agreed a plea deal and avoided jail time, but scenes from the incident were used in the promo for UFC 229.
And Khabib doesn’t think that was coincidence and believes the attack could have been set up.
“Let me tell you how that all played out,” Khabib told Russia Today.
“I had a team of about 20 men. We had a bus just like that, hired (for us) to go to the gym, press conferences all the media activities and so on.
“But you know what’s interesting – on that day the UFC told me that on that media day I had to arrive alone. So I was traveling with all the other fighters who would fight from the red corner.
“I was in the red corner as well as a favorite. With me there was only one person (from my team) and my manager.
“And if you watch the footage, you can see that the bus almost gets to the gate, and then suddenly it stops and pull back. Why?
Conor McGregor attacked the media buss ahead of UFC 223
Conor McGregor attacked the bus ahead of UFC 223
Conor McGregor was arrested for the bus attack
“If you see that some people are attacking the bus, then you should keep moving and get outside (from the parking lot). But then you stop and pull back. Why? For me there are a lot of questions.
“I don’t know whether the UFC made it all on purpose or not.
“But they started to attack (the bus), break (windows). It was a crowd of around 20 men. Inside (the bus) we had three security guards.
“And as you can see (in the video), there were security guards outside as well, trying to stop Conor. In my opinion, I give 70 percent that it was a set-up.”
Khabib retained the UFC Lightweight title
Khabib beat Conor McGregor in the fourth round
Khabib escaped unhurt during the incident but reveals he wanted to leave the bus to confront McGregor and Danis, after the Irishman through a dolly at a window.
He added: “I wanted to get outside, and all the fighters who were in the bus, already confirmed it in their interviews, as well as all the managers.
“It all happened in about one or two minutes. I don’t know, but this incident leaves a lot of questions for me.
“One more thing that I want to mention. Back in 2017 we were talking (on Twitter private messages), before he moved to the lightweight division. And (those messages) still exist. We had a good relationship back then.
“After what had happened (between me) and his team, if he thought that I crossed the line, why couldn’t he just message me and say, ‘hey, we need to figure things out.’ But he flies over (from Ireland) and comes with cameras and his PR team, who were filming the whole thing.
“And one more thing. It was Barclays Center, a big arena for 20,000 spectators. How did they find out where exactly we were?
“It’s for one. For two, when around 20-30 furious men entered the arena, the UFC staff didn’t ask any questions? Conor wasn’t part of that media day. They should have informed the (arena’s) security that 20 to 30 men had just entered the building.
“They didn’t say anything. Instead they led them to our bus. You know some people think that I am just an athlete. But I am an educated man, and during 15 years of my career I have never even been knocked out.
“So believe me, my brain works well.”
But Dana White has strongly denied the suggestions.
“Anybody who thinks this is staged, it is the dumbest (expletive) thing I have ever heard,” White told USA TODAY Sports.
“How did we stage this? How could we possibly have (expletive) staged this? This is real (expletive).”
He added: “(McGregor) loaded a G650 plane full of goons and flew over here to do what he did.
“That’s the way he is built. You attack my friend, we attack you. That’s some Dublin street (expletive) right there, that’s what that is
“For guys who didn’t grow up that way, you can’t wrap your head around that. But for a guy like Conor, where he comes from, that’s how you retaliate.”