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Name Aleksey Nikolskyi
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Ethnic Russian
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  Sputnik Staff Writer
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2018 09 21 Publish: Are you disrespecting Putin!?

UFC lightweight challenger Conor McGregor has accused champion Khabib Nurmagomedov of ‘disrespecting your president Vladimir Putin,’ over the Russian’s comments about the Irishman’s photo with Putin, taken at the World Cup final.

McGregor was invited to the final on July 15 as a guest of Putin, and the two watched France defeat Croatia 4-2 at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, with McGregor grabbing a photo with the president, whom he referred to as ‘one of the greatest leader’s of our time’ in an Instagram post

In response, Khabib, who attended the match but did not get a photo opportunity, poked fun at the situation by posting a photo next to a Putin lookalike on Moscow’s popular Niolskaya Street near Red Square

At Thursday’s UFC 229 press conference in New York City, Khabib was asked by a reporter to describe how he felt looking from the stands over the stadium VIP box, where McGregor and Putin ate dinner.

2018 12 12 Publish: Fighting the trend: Khabib & McGregor finish ahead of Putin in Russia’s Google Search 2018 list

UFC stars Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor are proud warriors inside the octagon, but have claimed their biggest victory outside it - finishing ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Google’s 2018 most-searched list

Khabib and Conor’s barnstorming October 7 UFC lightweight title dust-up came fourth in Google’s 2018 trend list of most searched events for the year, one ahead of the fifth-placed Russian Presidential election on March 18, in which Putin was re-elected for a second consecutive term as president with a landslide 77 percent of votes

The most-searched event in Russia was this summer’s 2018 World Cup, held for the first time in the country, followed by the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and the tragic Kemerovo shopping mall fire which claimed the lives of more than 60 people.

Champ Khabib himself ended the year with another title to complement his UFC belt, topping Google’s individual name searches, ahead of second place Meghan Markle, the former actress who this year became the Duchess of Sussex after her Royal wedding to Prince Harry of England

The top five of that individual trend list perhaps makes for the most eclectic collection of dinner party guests ever fathomed; joining the company of Khabib and Meghan is Belarusian vice girl ‘Nastya Rybka’, real name Anastasia Vashukevich, who was detained in Thailand on charges of ‘indecency, conspiracy and belonging to a secret society

She allegedly agreed a deal with the US for asylum in exchange for information linking Russian oligarchs to alleged interference in the US presidential election of Donald Trump

2019 09 13 Publish: Putin Meets Khabib to Congratulate Him on Convincing Victory Over Poirier

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday at Makhachkala Airport, following the fighter’s third-round submission victory over American mixed martial artist Dustin Poirier on 7 September. Before leaving the region, the Russian president congratulated Dagestan-born Khabib and his father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov on a ‘convincing victory’ on Saturday

Putin is a well-known supporter of the martial arts, he himself is a master of sports in sambo, and a regular spectator at fights

Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently one of the most popular and recognised athletes in Russia. He still lives and trains in his home city of Makhachkala in Russia’s Republic of Dagestan while not competing in fights in the US. He later shared a video of the meeting with the Russian president on his Instagram account, saying that it was ‘worth a lot’