Old footage emerges of Khabib Nurmagomedov joking with Herb Dean about letting Conor McGregor off the hook with illegal moves during grudge match at UFC 229

A year after beating Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov caught up with referee Herb Dean and jokingly asked him how much he was paid to let Conor McGregor cheat during their grudge UFC 229 grudge match.

The Russian, who has since retired from fighting, retained his UFC lightweight title at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with a neck crank submission in 2018.

Referee Dean was the third man in the octagon at UFC 229 in October 2018

It was an unpleasant build-up to the fight in Sin City, which ended with a huge brawl inside the arena – sparked by Khabib leaping over the cage to fight with members of McGregor’s team – and saw both men receive hefty fines and suspensions.

McGregor was soundly beaten on the night, despite taking a round away from ‘The Eagle’, with eagle-eyed fans noticing several infractions.

As well as grabbing the fence on multiple occasions, McGregor tried to land illegal ’12-6’ elbows on his opponent and stalled a Khabib takedown in the third round with a glove hook.

The fact he won made joking with Dean about the fight when they caught up at a UFC event in 2019 easier to laugh about as evidenced by the short video featuring Khabib, his coach Javier Mendez and his late father, Abdulmanap, who died in July last year.

Khabib and Herb Dean joke about the official receiving a bribe to let McGregor cheat

He says to Mendez, who is holding the camera: “Coach, how much do you think they paid him?”

His coach replies: “I don’t know; Herb, how much?” To which Dean responds: “I was trying to do a good job,”

Mendez continues: “Were you well-compensated, though?”

“That’s the thing; I’ve never been well-compensated,” Dean replied, laughing as they all reminisced.

Khabib battered the Irishman into a state of submission after three-and-a-half brutal rounds
Eagle-eyed fans noticed several infringements by the Irishman

Before announcing his retirement in October last year, Khabib cemented his reputation as the best lightweight of all time and one of the greatest to ever set foot in the octagon.

He submitted both Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje in Abu Dhabi before reaffirming his decision to walk away from the sport with a professional record of 29-0.

Despite UFC boss Dana White’s best attempts, he was unable to convince the 32-year-old to return to the sport after watching McGregor suffer a knockout defeat to Poirier and effectively end any chance of a rematch.

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