This Saturday, during the 2nd round of the fight between Khabib and McGregor, the ‘Notorious’ Irishman was knocked to the floor, with Khabib shouting “Let’s talk now” as he continued to pummel him.
As the horn sounds to mark the end of the fight, with Khabib pushing McGregor up against the fence, Connor appears to say in Khabib’s ear: “It’s just business”. Many believe this is McGregor’s way of apologizing for his over-the-top pre-match insults.
It almost looked to me like McGregor wanted to touch gloves as he came out for round three. It’s not clear he understood this wasn’t all just a big game until it was way too late. pic.twitter.com/JBoHI4hvtU
— JE Snowden (@JESnowden) October 7, 2018
Khabib appears to respond: “Aye, I guess so.”
However, while the fight may have been business to McGregor, for Khabib it was personal. The Dagestan-based fighter later jumped out of the cage and attacked Dillon Danis, McGregor’s trainer, after Danis supposedly taunted ad insulted Khabib.
This is part and parcel of the long pre-fight banter McGregor had spit out against his UFC adversary, McGregor. McGregor has been taunting Khabib for weeks, taking dabs at him, his family, and his religion. While some banter is to be expected, it seems as if Khabib felt it went too far. This seemed to indicate a massive cultural difference between the two fighters.
For the Irish-UFC fighter McGregor, it is to be expected that he will stir the pot. His attitude of excessive banter and undiluted egoism seems to create the very circus environment Dana White and the UFC have sought to foster. As Floyd Mayweather said, while McGregor may be a great fighter, he can appear to be “all bark and no bite” and puts a larger emphasis on his pre-game banter and the media-circus that ensues rather than the fighting itself. This can be seen by the results of this weekend’s fight.
However, Khabib Nurmagomedov has a different approach. He is a simple, religious, family man, who fights for his personal honour and achievements. For him, this is not a business, but a personal endeavour.
McGregor’s reassurance that “it’s just business’ seems to be his way of acknowledging the differences between the two fighters.