Russian President Vladimir Putin met and congratulated Russia's Khabib Nurmagomedov on Wednesday after he retained his UFC lightweight title against Conor McGregor in a bout overshadowed by a post-fight brawl.
Nurmagomedov's brutal submission victory over Ireland's McGregor on Saturday was followed by fights breaking out in and around the cage. Nurmagomedov jumped out of the cage before leaping feet first at McGregor's team mate and cornerman Dillon Danis.
Putin asked Nurmagomedov's father "not to punish him too severely" for the brawl, telling the fighter: “You accomplished the main goal: You won the fight, with confidence and dignity.”
The Russian president went on to call Russia “one big family” in which “we need to avoid going to extremes or making any jumps.”
“But if we are attacked from the outside, then, of course, not only you, but all of us can jump and there’ll be hell to pay,” Putin said.
“But it’s better not to take it to that,” he added.
Reuters contributed reporting.