Russian President Vladimir Putin met and congratulated Russia's Khabib Nurmagomedov on Wednesday after he retained his UFC lightweight title against Conor McGregor in a bout overshadowed by a post-fight brawl.
Despite a controversial ending to the event, which saw the Eagle climb over the cage to attack the Irishman's team, the Russian fighter ultimately walked away with bragging rights from his heated rivalry with the Notorious.
"You can do whatever you want in the octagon; outside of it, there's children, women, random people", Abdulmanap - who is still his son's trainer, but was denied a visa by USA authorities to attend the McGregor fight - was reported as saying. But on Wednesday in the city of Ulyanovsk at the "Russia - Country of Sports" forum, Khabib found himself in the company of the Russian President.
Nurmagomedov, who issued an apology for his actions in a post-match press conference, defeated McGregor in the fourth round and extended his unbeaten record to 27 wins.
Nurmagomedov's father said after the fight he "will impose a punishment tougher than the UFC's", adding: "I warned him".
"Thank you very much Vladimir Vladimirovich for the warm welcome and congratulations", the 30-year-old Nurmagomedov wrote in Russian on his Instagram, captioning the photo showing him and his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov sitting across the Russian president.
"But if they attack us from the outside, of course, not just you - all of us can jump in such a way, they won't know what hit them", said Putin, nevertheless cautioning Nurmagomedov that "it's better not to take things so far".
The crowd was so hostile that the UFC president Dana White did not present the Russian with his belt.
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