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18 Aug, 2021 14:16

UFC legend Nurmagomedov warns he could have strangled McGregor to death if ref hadn’t saved ‘chicken’ in brutal neck crank (VIDEO)

UFC legend Nurmagomedov warns he could have strangled McGregor to death if ref hadn’t saved ‘chicken’ in brutal neck crank (VIDEO)

Khabib Nurmagomedov believes the neck crank he used to beat Conor McGregor during their savage UFC 229 fight could have killed his bitter rival, crediting referee Herb Dean for stepping in to end the beating.

Experienced official Dean mercifully called the fight off with McGregor struggling to breathe and Nurmagomedov on top of him midway through the fourth round, ending a pummeling for his chief antagonist by the unbeaten then-lightweight champion at the T-Mobile Arena in October 2018.

That sparked a grim conclusion to the headline bout that included Nurmagomedov scaling the cage as part of a mass brawl, and the Dagestani has now warned that the consequences could have been even worse for his brutally beaten opponent.

"You saw what happened. Remove Herb Dean and you yourself will understand whether I would have gone to the end or not," Khabib explained.

"A person can die from such a [grip]. If I were to strangle you a little behind the scenes, you would understand what it is about.

"When a person strangles you and has been doing this for 30 years, this is a cold weapon. If there had been no referee, what could have happened?

"[Dean] removed my hands, he removed my grip. We... understand everything, we understand what could have been."

Probed on promoting the biggest ever pay-per-view smash in the history of MMA's elite championship, Khabib suggested that McGregor did "all the work" while his corner did the business in the octagon.

"Let everyone prepare the table – we will come, eat and that's it," he said.

Nurmagomedov has been unsurprised by McGregor's run of two defeats out of three since that night. "Look at Conor," he said. "He fought [Donald] Cerrone and looked like a lion.

"He went out to fight the [best fighters] and looked like a frightened chicken. Top rivals show you what you are worth. The fight with Cerrone did not show his level."

The fierce feud between the two men has been reignited lately, with McGregor launching a series of bizarre tirades on Twitter.

Forever posting offensive tweets and then deleting them, 'Notorious' recently appeared to poke fun at the Dagestani's father, revered coach Abdulmanap, passing away from Covid-19.

McGregor has also made digs at the likes of Nurmagomedov's former gym partner Daniel Cormier, who he branded "a fat mess", and former middleweight champion Michael Bisping, who he called "a nobody" this week.

Also on rt.com ‘I wanna eat his children!’ Conor McGregor responds after Khabib calls him ‘dirty’ for tweeting about late father