Pinterest Conor McGregor looks on after his submission loss on Saturday night. And when Bruce Buffer finally announced the official result — a submission victory for Nurgmagomedov at of round four — neither fighter was present in the octagon; both had long since been scurried out by security.
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He looked like a stud. It should have been a very different night for him. Defeated in a championship fight one second, victim the next. That McGregor made it to the fourth round at all was a feat in and of itself. After a measured opening frame where neither man inflicted any shots of consequence, round two was a different tale.
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A looping Khabib right hand found its mark at the onset of the frame, and McGregor wobbled backward. Nurmagomedov, 30, grappled McGregor against the cage — just like the previous round — but this time, he was able to finally inflict the punishment he so desperately sought. Vengeance for all the mean words, and perhaps chiefly, for the infamous bus attack in April where McGregor tossed a dolly at the vehicle.
Now, it was McGregor, 30, who was a sitting duck as a weapon was projected at him. He lay flat on his back while Nurmagomedov rained punches down from the standing position.
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Referee Herb Dean inched closer to the action, seemingly so he was in position to halt the lb matchup at any moment. Nurmagomedov landed 41 of 60 significant strikes and 58 of 78 total strikes. McGregor landed 5 of 13 significant strikes and 7 of 17 total strikes. He kept the fight standing for the full five minutes and while the fight was on the feet, Nurmagomedov spent a lot of time standing directly in front of his heavy-handed opponent.
While McGregor did outland Nurmagomedov in both significant strikes and total strikes his punches seemed to be missing some of their sting.
McGregor landed 34 of 53 significant strikes and 44 of 62 total strikes, while Nurmagomedov connected on 15 of 37 significant strikes and 17 of 39 total strikes.
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Round 4 striking: While a good portion of the fourth round was spent on the ground, the majority of the significant strikes that were landed were landed on the feet.
Nurmagomedov went seven for 13 in significant strikes and 11 for 19 in total strikes, while McGregor went six for nine in significant and total strikes in the abbreviated stanza. Round 4 takedowns and grappling: Nurmagomedov scored one takedown on one attempt and had one guard pass during the round.
He also had one submission attempt, an attempt that ended the fight. Officially the submission attempt was recorded as a rear-naked choke.