Saturday 14 December 2019

Khabib 'angry and emotional'

Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib Nurmagomedov

Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov both made the lightweight limit of 155lbs to ensure their highly-anticipated title fight would go ahead in Las Vegas this weekend.

UFC 229 is forecast to set a new benchmark for pay-per-view buys, so it will be a relief to organisers that its two headliners successfully made weight.

Conducting his media duties separately to Nurmagomedov after arriving half an hour late to the Park Theater, McGregor said: "I'm starving for this man's head. I am going to eat him alive in there.

"I know who the king is and I'm going to show it on Saturday night."

Animosity between the pair has ramped up significantly since McGregor threw a dolly at the window of a bus containing several fighters, including Nurmagomedov, in April, and the war of words has intensified.

Nurmagomedov revealed he is still irked by that incident in Brooklyn just days prior to UFC 223, when he claimed the vacant 155lbs belt with a unanimous points victory over Al Iaquinta.

Ahead of the first defence of his strap, the Russian said: "If I say no, this is not true. A little bit.

"Of course I am angry and a little bit emotional. But my job when I go to the cage is I control my emotions and stay relaxed. I'll keep going and maul this guy.

"Sometimes the anger helps, but most important I stay relaxed."

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