UFC: Nurmagomedov should be suspended, stripped of title- Hardy

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Khabib Nurmagomedov “has to be suspended” and stripped of his belt for the violent scenes after his win over Conor McGregor at UFC 229, according to former UFC title contender Dan Hardy.

Nurmagomedov leapt from the octagon and fought a member of McGregor’s team, while the Irishman had a bust-up with some of the Russian’s entourage.

“I don’t see any other way around it,” said Hardy.

“His actions almost led to a full scale arena riot.”

Lightweight champion Nurmagomedov, from the Russian Republic of Dagestan, apologised following the incident but cited pre-match trash talk in which McGregor “talked about my religion, talked about my country, talked about father”.

Hardy, speaking on BBC Radio 5 live’s MMA Show podcast, said he thought the 30-year-old would be suspended for 12 months.

“Unfortunately, he is going to be suspended for a period of time, which means that the belt would probably be stripped from him,” said Hardy. “Then we’ll see [number one contender] Tony Ferguson face somebody else for the vacant title.”

Hardy said UFC and the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSCA), who sanctioned the fight, had some “big decisions to make right now”.

The NSCA has already withheld Nurmagomedov’s fight purse while it investigates the incident.

“It was just pandemonium out there and obviously fans are starting to get upset and I saw a lot of fans running for the exit and things like that, too. It was just chaos.”

McGregor, who suffered his fourth defeat in 25 UFC bouts, tweeted afterwards that he was “looking forward to the rematch”.

But MMA journalist Nick Peet says he “can’t see the rematch happening any time soon”. (BBC Sport)

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