Russia's Khabib Nurmagomedov, UFC lightweight champion who defeated Conor McGregor of Ireland in the main event of UFC 229, speaks during the ceremony of honouring him at Anzhi Arena in Kaspiysk, a city in the republic of Dagestan, Russia October 8, 2018. Image Credit: REUTERS

Dubai: Khabib Nurmagomedov has told Channel One Russia that he thinks the Brooklyn bus attack on him and his team by Conor McGregor in April was ‘set up’ by the UFC.

The infamous bus attack at a UFC 223 media event preceded the pair’s Las Vegas fight earlier this month at UFC 229, which boiled over after Khabib won by fourth round submission.

The Russian jumped out of the cage at the end of the fight to attack McGregor’s team, while Khabib’s teammates jumped into the octagon to attack the Irishman.

 "An important point — the Barclays Centre is a very big arena, but he knew where we were exactly. How could they have known?"

 - Khabib Nurmagomedov | UFC lightweight champion


Khabib and McGregor will both be formerly suspended for 10 days on October 15 for their actions after the fight, before their long-term fate is decided at a Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) meeting on October 24. Khabib’s prize purse of US$2 million for the fight is also being withheld by the NSAC until further notice.

McGregor had already gone to court over the Brooklyn bus attack at the Barclays Centre that injured two people. He pleaded no contest to a count of disorderly conduct for which he was ordered to perform five days of community service and attend anger management classes. He wasn’t suspended by the UFC for that earlier incident, however.

“When I think back there are so many questions that I don’t have the answer to, did they do it all on purpose?” Khabib told Channel One Russia.

“In my opinion, I feel like the bus incident was organised with the UFC’s help. I can’t accuse them, but I would give it 70 per cent that they did it. I wanted to get off the bus and all the other fighters on the bus confirmed this in their interviews, and all the managers as well.

“It all happened in a minute and a half, two minutes max. He’s there with his cameras and his PR team with him shooting. An important point — the Barclays Centre is a very big arena, but he knew where we were exactly. How could they have known? And how did they enter the arena with a gang of 20, 30 men? Come on.

“Conor has nothing to do with this media event and has a gang with him but these jokers lead him and everyone to the elevator where our bus is? I’m an athlete, but I’m also educated. My brain works pretty well for 15 years of fighting. I haven’t taken many shots to the head so I still have brains.”