DETAILS HAVE emerged of the "chaotic" scenes that unfolded backstage before Conor McGregor's defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229.
The Russian stunned the Notorious to claim a comprehensive victory over his lightweight rival, secured when the Irishman tapped out in the fourth round of the match.
But while much of the media coverage since McGregor's defeat has centred on events in the immediate aftermath of the match, fresh revelations have now emerged concerning what went on prior to the fight.
The came from UFC commentator Joe Anik, who was in attendance and recently broke his silence to detail the backstage issues that may have hampered McGregor on the fight.
Speaking on the Anik and Florian podcast, Anik opened up about what was unfolding in the minutes before the match.
"Say what you want about his actions after the fight but everything up until he finished Conor McGregor, in my opinion, from Thursday, September 20 - which was the first face-off in New York City - to Herb Dean pulling him off of Conor, Khabib handled himself brilliantly," he said.
"He just dismissed that narrative and then some. He made me feel like I wasted a whole lot of hot air talking about how he would handle that moment and on the other side, I thought Conor looked great all week.
"But all of a sudden on fight night, it seemed like his colour was gone, his confidence didn't seem there, the smile wasn't there, there were maybe some rumblings about some things or some circumstances backstage but Khabib handled the fight part of this with flying colours and proved that he probably is the most dominant force in the game, as advertised."
Anik's comments sparked widespread speculation as to what those "circumstances" might have entailed, with the commentator later taking to Twitter to clarify what he was referring to.
"He wasn't injured," he wrote
"I was just told it was unnecessarily chaotic back there, lot of people coming in and out of the locker room. He also got wrapped by a cutman who hadn't wrapped him before supposedly, which, while no big deal, still deviated from his norm."
Despite the controversy surrounding Nurmagomedov's victory, McGregor is already calling for a rematch.