Chechen Black Belt Ayub Magomadov came under fire when it was uncovered he was tapped to help prepare McGregor for the Khabib Nurmagomedov match up.
The post – and Magomadov’s presence at McGregor’s side – stirred considerable anger, with some questioning how a man from Russia’s Chechen Republic could help a future opponent of Dagestan’s Nurmagomedov.
When Magomadov was contacted here’s how he explained his predicament:
“I was contacted by email, through my manager. They were searching for a guy for a sparring session. And that’s it. I arrived there, we did MMA sparring. That was what they wanted me for. So I did my job, and went back to Moscow,”Magomadov told RT Sport.
“To be honest, I wasn’t expecting Conor to post that photo with me. But I wasn’t surprised with that negative reaction – I am an adult man. I would say it felt like a useful experience for me to see the negative side of the situation, to see all those haters around. I have learned a lot from that.”
Magomadov also took the chance to address Russian MMA fans, some of whom offered support, while others sent a barrage of insults on social media.
“I felt like I needed to explain the situation. It was not about doing something wrong and making excuses. Not at all. It is my job, and I am not here to make friends, it is just the fight business. I need to feed my family, and become a better fighter – and I really learned a lot from Conor and his coaches. What if they call me again for a sparring session? – I will do it again. If you want to be a good fighter you need to train with good fighters. And it takes training with great fighters to become a great fighter. So if you have such a great chance you have to go for it. Despite all the negative feedback and haters.”
“Conor is a very respectful and humble guy, without any ‘star fever.’ He was very respectful to me. He was just like a normal guy from the dojo. All the guys from his gym were respectful, were nice. His coach John (Kavanagh) is a nice person. Really nice head of this team, really respectful. It was great to know him.
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I have true respect for the Vainakh soldier. Eye to eye respect. Always be aware that when respect is given out of fear, it is fake. It is the cowards safest first step towards treason. When land is on the line, there are no limits. So there must be no hesitation. Stand strong and stay ruthless! Forever and always 🇮🇪 🇷🇺 ⚔️ Thank you, Ayub. Proper fighting.
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