Khabib Receives Hero’s Welcome in Dagestan Following UFC 229 Triumph

Russia has found its new hero. 

The Dagestan pride Khabib Nurmagomedov was greeted with a hero’s welcome when he returned in his home soil on Monday, following his dominant victory over heated rival Conor McGregor at UFC 229 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Despite the controversy hounding the reigning lightweight champ, Russian fans trooped to a 26 000-seater football stadium to give their champion the warm reception he deserves.

Statement Win

The 30-year old Nurmagomedov sent a strong statement to the MMA world last Saturday that he is really a big force to reckon with in this sport. ‘The Eagle’ started strong from the onset and did not look back to overwhelm ‘The Notorious’ in four electrifying rounds.

Nurmagomedov locked in a rear-naked choke in the fourth, which forced the struggling McGregor to tap out. With the win, Khabib was able to protect his lightweight belt and his immaculate professional MMA record, which now stands at 27-0.

After months of hyping the so-called ‘biggest fight in UFC history, which stemmed from the controversial bus attack last April, the Russian champ finally proved that he was just too much for McGregor. This is despite the fact that Conor has been hurling insults to Khabib in an attempt to get into the champ’s head.

Well, Nurmagomedov was able to maintain his composure at least for four rounds. But in a shocking twist of events, the Russian star went ballistic after winning the fight and jumped over the cage to attack McGregor’s teammate Dillon Danis. Khabib’s unsportsmanlike behaviour resulted in a bigger brawl inside and outside the arena involving members and fans of both camps.

National Pride

According to UFC President Dana White, the post-fight melee happened last Saturday will have repercussions that will hurt both camps. Aside from fines and suspension, White claimed that there is a possibility for the promotion to strip Khabib’s lightweight belt.

Khabib may have had a huge involvement in the controversial brawl, but it did not matter for his legion of supporters in Russia. A win is a win anyway, no matter how ugly it gets. After a convincing victory over his Irish rival, Nurmagomedov is now a national treasure in his country, a national pride.

As seen from the video uploaded by Denis Geyko on Twitter, a football stadium in Kaspiysk, Dagestan was jampacked to welcome Nurmagomedov for his arrival.

Khabib met his fans in the stadium along with his UFC lightweight belt.

And when given a chance to get a closer look to their hero, fans mobbed the field.

After a night full of drama at UFC 229, Khabib and his team have finally experienced the joy of winning! And it was more special because they celebrated it with their home fans.

There is really no other place like home.

(Featured Image Source: Denis Geyko/Twitter)

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