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Putin sympathises with UFC champion Nurmagomedov over brawl after McGregor fight

The Russian president met with the undefeated fighter and congratulated him on his victory at UFC 229.

Source: MMA LEAKS/YouTube

VLADIMIR PUTIN WARNED Khabib Nurmagomedov to restrain himself at home in Russia but condoned any forceful action if attacked from the outside as he joked about the aftermath of UFC 229.

Russian president Putin met with lightweight champion Khabib and congratulated the undefeated fighter on his victory over Conor McGregor at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas last week.

Khabib forced UFC star McGregor to tap out in the fourth round but his win was overshadowed as he subsequently jumped out of the octagon to confront the Irishman’s stable-mate Dillon Danis, sparking a mass brawl.

Russian Khabib – whose share of the purse has been withheld – could be stripped of his belt following the melee, which also saw two men confront McGregor inside the ring.

Putin was in a jovial mood during Wednesday’s meeting, giving Khabib a mild lecture after asking the 30-year-old’s father Abdulmanap to be lenient with his son.

“Congratulations on the victory,” Putin said as he sat down with Khabib and Abdulmanap in Ulyanovsk. “I would like to thank you for father for raising such a great fighter.”

Putin continued: “We’ve been watching you closely and rooting for you. I’m going to ask your father to cut you some slack because what matters most is that you fought like a fighter and won. You won decisively and with dignity.”

“We all understand that it was a provocation and I’m sure your father understands that too,” Putin added. “That it was done to provoke you and use it against you in the fight.

“I believe that all of us in our country are one big family and no matter what happens, we need to try to avoid rashness like charging someone regardless of what’s going on.

“Anything can happen in a family but we never allow ourselves to cross the line. Of course, if someone attacks us from the outside then all of us – not just you – can charge them and there could be hell to pay. But it’s best to avoid such course of action. I wish you continued success in your career.”

- Originally published at 08.17

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