Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 229 lived up to the hype as most of the fights on the main card, including the titular fight between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, was filled with quality action.
The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas was packed on Saturday as McGregor was making the much-anticipated return to UFC and taking on one of the best fighters in the MMA promotion brand.
Considering the history between the two fighters, it was surprising to see the buildup to the fight lacking any major controversy. McGregor continued with his usual trash-talking but Khabib did well to avoid confrontations during the press conferences and weigh-ins.
Khabib turned on the heat inside the Octagon on Saturday as he extended his unbeaten run to 27 matches in MMA after submitting McGregor by rear-naked choke in the fourth round.
The main event could have easily gone down as one of the best fights in the history of UFC if not for the chaotic post-match brawl.
In a frenetic end to the pay-per-view event, Khabib jumped over the cage and started attacking McGregor's teammate who had apparently needled the Russian champion.
At the same time, a couple of men from Khabib's team entered the cage and started attacking McGregor before the security personnel stepped in and took both the star fighters away from the chaos.
While UFC president Dana White was left disappointed with the post-fight melee, Khabib has apologised to the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his behaviour.
'He talk about my country, my father'
However, the Russian fighter said he was unable to understand the fuss around him leaving the Octagon after the main event. He urged the critics to rather focus on how McGregor has been disrespectful towards him in the recent past.
"I do not understand how people can talk about 'I jumped from the cage,'" Khabib said.
"Worry about, he talked about my religion, he talk about my country, he talk about my father, he come to Brooklyn and he broke bus, he almost killed a couple people. Worry about this. Worry about this sh*t. Why people still talk about this? I don't understand."
McGregor 'tap machine'
Khabib took a jibe at McGregor, insisting that UFC is not about trash-talking but it is a "respect" sport.
After deservedly clinching the bragging rights, the undefeated star even went on to call McGregor a "tap machine."
"This is respect sport. This is not a trash-talking sport. This is respect. I told you before, guys, I want to change this game. I don't want people to talk shit about, like, opponents, talk shit about his father, religion," Khabib said.
"I told you guys, not only him, his whole team, they're tap machine. I told you guys. When you put him the wrong way he's going to tap.
"What happened today? they call him two-time world champ in two weight classes. But today, he tap, and that's why the belt is here, undisputed, undefeated UFC lightweight champion."
However, McGregor seemed unruffled by the post-fight drama. Having assured of a hefty payday, the Irishman called for a rematch, which looks likely considering the growing rivalry between the two superstars.
"Good knock. Looking forward to the rematch," McGregor wrote on Twitter.