UFC has a Racism Problem: Khabib McGregor UFC 229

Written by Shoaib

UFC 229 was always going to be a night to remember but many people will remember the fight for what happened after it rather than during it. With so many people left asking “Why?” it shows there’s a serious misunderstanding in UFC towards its attitude towards Conor McGregor’s racism. What drives an always calm fighter to lash out? Why did Khabib, who always keeps his focus, go against his own self to lash back?

For anyone who may have been living under a rock, lets update you. Saturday night was UFC’s Mixed Martial Arts fight-night with one of the biggest fights in MMA history being the main event. The notorious and former champion Conor McGregor Vs the Russian undefeated lightweight Champion of the world Khabib Nurmagomedov. The fight ended in a spectacular way with Conor tapping out in the fourth round after a rear-naked choke. While many thought that was the end of the fight, the usually calm Khabib jumped out of the Octagon in to Conor’s team landing a few punches. Conor attacked Khabib’s brother in the Octagon which lead to a scuffle between them and Khabibs team.

It wasn’t long before there was widespread condemnation of Khabib’s actions and people started wondering why he lost his cool. To look at that we need to look at the whole picture and what was happening before the fight.

History is Vital

Before the fight Conor McGregor had thrown lots of abuse at Khabib and his camp. He called Khabib a terrorist because he is Muslim, he attacked his religion calling it “backwards” when Khabib didn’t drink whisky, he mocked his brother’s son and he made derogatory remarks about Khabibs wife and father. Even before the fight was arranged Conor McGregor and his entire team attacked a bus which was transporting Khabib and other UFC fighters causing one fighter to nearly lose his eye.

McGregor and his team attack Khabib’s bus

All of this was allowed by the UFC because they see it as “pre-fight banter”. The UFC under Dana White has a history of never punishing Conor McGregor. The Conor bus attack nor his insults before the fight were kept in check nor did they see consequence. This is usually because this builds publicity around the event and sells more pay-per-views.

This isn’t new behaviour from Conor, his taunts however have never been regulated. When Conor fought the Brazilian fighter Aldo he went to incredible heights of racism saying that he would, in different times, “invade his favela on horseback and would kill anyone who wasn’t fit to work”. When he fought Diaz he through a glass bottle at him. Before McGregor’s fight against Mayweather he was accused by Mayweather of racism. He called the black team members of Mayweather’s camp “monkeys” and then asked Mayweather to “dance for me” hinting at black slave history.

But did this stop the UFC from promoting him or did the UFC condemn him? Once again, no and never.

Dana what are you doing?

With his unchecked racism he entered the competition against Khabib with racial slurs and Islamophobic remarks, worst of all calling Khabib a terrorist and backwards for following his religion. This was a step too far as he wasn’t just taunting, he was getting personal and attacking his honour.

McGregor calls Khabib backwards for not drinking because of his religion

Khabib remained calm before the fight but after illegal manouvers which went unchecked during the fight, Khabib lost it and started a post-fight brawl. It left fans bewildered as to why Khabib would risk his titles, his fight money, reputation and even his visa just for getting at Conor and his team.

For Khabib, though, honour matters more than money, fame, titles and visas. Just like many Muslims, our religion is more important than anything else. So when Conor was attacking his religion along with his wife, father, brother, nephew and culture, it should have been checked. Just like his racist comments against Aldo and Mayweather should have been checked.

There seems to be only one cause to the UFC racism problem, and that is UFC President Dana White’s love affair with Conor McGregor. Its obvious he brings in sales but Dana should have stepped in and contained the foul mouthing and racist attacks. Once again Dana White let Conor get away with everything only to sit in the post-fight press conference wondering what had gone wrong.

Well simply put Dana’s blindness to Conor has gotten him into this mess. He allowed racism, thuggery and Islamophobia. Now the time has come for the UFC is to reflect instead of throwing blame on Khabib and his team.

Khabib has stated in his post fight interview that he apologises for his behaviour and said that comments regarding his father, country and religion can’t go unchecked. He says he wants to change UFC so personal attacks are not made.

Is it time that the UFC made the fight about the fight not about how many pay-per-view viewings come through due to pre-fight hype build up. What are your thoughts on the fight and on UFC and Dana White? Let me know below.

Stay informed with the Muslim world

Join our newsletter of over 20,000 people to keep up to the date with the latest news from the Muslim world.

About the author


CEO of Hujjaj.co | Director of the Organisation for the Conservation of Islamic Heritage | President of itiba.tv | Editor Muslim World Journal | Pharmacist | You can find me on Instagram and Facebook



  • You are lying about a lot of what happened to fit your agenda. You said Conor attacked Khabib’s guys in the octagon? No, Conor was AMBUSHED by Khabib’s guys after the fight was over. Also, when Conor called Mayweather’s bodyguards “monkeys” and said, “dance for me”, he was NOT being racist. One of the main guys he was talking about was white and it was bc he was juiced up on steroids. It had nothing to with race. This is not journalism and you should be ashamed of yourself. You are a racebaiting a-hole!

    • No man. Connor jumped on the fence and hit one of Khabibs team members. But you’re right that it was too much. But under these circumstances I can understand why Khabib went beast mode. It should all be just be about the sport and the fights. And all the big mouthing pre- fight is un necessary and without respect. So all the stuff after the fight was just the consequence.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
Muslim World Journal