The rivalry between current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and former titleholder Conor McGregor has been a particularly juicy one entering Saturday's culmination in their grudge match at UFC 229 in Las Vegas. 

From a felony attack on a bus to a wild war of words between the two in the aftermath, this heated feud has been among the most intense in UFC history and will produce a 155-pound title bout that is already being hailed as the biggest pay-per-view the sport has ever seen.

Let's take a look back at how we got here in a timeline on the events that produced Saturday's fight.

Sept. 9, 2014: The earliest known public interaction between McGregor and Nurmagomedov appeared to paint them as friendly acquaintances with mutual respect for one another, as this Twitter exchange seems to indicate. The fact that both fighters were planning a training session together, including a run-in from UFC's social team to hype it up, seems almost bizarre four years later. 

Sept. 28, 2014: One day after McGregor's sensational first-round TKO of Dustin Poirier in their featherweight bout at UFC 178 in Las Vegas, Nurmagomedov excitedly posted a picture of the two meeting backstage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. McGregor replied to the tweet the following day by saying, "I love it champ!! The Russian Bear!!" At the time, Nurmagomedov was just five months removed from a breakthrough victory over future lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos but would go on to miss two full years due to a knee injury. 

Dec. 10, 2015: Two days before McGregor, then the UFC's interim featherweight beltholder, knocked out champion Jose Aldo to unify the titles at UFC 194 in Las Vegas, the brash Irishman addressed fans and media at the final press conference. Asked whether he would consider moving up to lightweight should he defeat Aldo, McGregor answered yes and further responded to which fighter he is targeting by saying, "I think Khabib [Nurmagomedov] will get the lightweight belt." The comment was an interesting bit of foreshadowing from "Mystic Mac."

Jan. 5, 2016: As McGregor began to angle toward moving up in weight for a lightweight title shot against dos Anjos, Nurmagomedov showed the first hint of unpleasantries between the two fighters during an interview with ArabsMMA. Considering he had soundly defeated RDA before injuries sidelined him for two years, Nurmagomedov was noticeably unhappy at the idea of McGregor taking an opportunity from him. "I think Conor is a good fighter but if he thinks he can come to the lightweight division and have a chance of beating me, he is delusional," Nurmagomedov said. "I'm the worst matchup for him in the UFC. This is why he is trying to move up and fight RDA now. He wants to avoid fighting me. If he comes to lightweight and fights me, I will give him a great welcome."

March 5, 2016: McGregor's lightweight title shot at UFC 196 fell apart two weeks earlier when dos Anjos pulled out with a foot injury. Instead of rescheduling the fight, McGregor boldly accepted a last-minute bout against Nate Diaz at welterweight. After dominating the first round and bloodying Diaz's eye, McGregor ran out of gas and was submitted minutes later. The result created havoc for the featherweight division as McGregor, just three months removed from winning the title, would never defend it as he continued to pursue big-money fights at higher weights. 

April 16, 2016: Nurmagomedov successfully returned from injury with a second-round TKO win over late replacement Darrell Horcher at UFC on Fox in Tampa, Florida. Horcher replaced the injured Tony Ferguson, which marked the second time a proposed fight against Nurmagomedov was canceled. After the fight, Nurmagomedov challenged dos Anjos to a rematch but said summer was out of the question while he observed Ramadan as part of his Muslim faith. McGregor trainer John Kavanagh then responded on Twitter with an insensitive remark about religion that understandably brought a warning from Nurmagomedov. 

April 19, 2016: One month after McGregor agreed to a welterweight rematch against Diaz at UFC 200, the Irishman nearly shut down the internet for a day when he refused to fly from training camp in Iceland to Las Vegas for a press conference and went on to briefly retire from the sport on Twitter. 

April 21, 2016: With UFC scrambling to produce a new main event for UFC 200 after Dana White pulled McGregor, Nurmagomedov told Match TV he was offered the spot. "Yesterday, the UFC called me with a proposal to hold the main bout of the evening against Nate Diaz or against Georges St-Pierre," Khabib said. "They hope that I will take the fight. But it is four days after the month of Ramadan, and it would be hard physically to fight five rounds. I'll be back in September and October." White quickly countered Nurmagomedov's reveal, telling MMAJunkie, "To the best of my knowledge, that is completely inaccurate. I wasn't in that meeting." 

Aug. 16, 2016: A wild summer for the UFC saw an ownership change following a $4 billion dollar sale in July, dos Anjos dethroned via knockout by former Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez and Diaz-McGregor II rescheduled for UFC 202. Alvarez began to publicly campaign for a lightweight title defense against the winner of Diaz-McGregor, which drew the ire of Nurmagomedov whose hunger for a title shot continued to grow. "The Eagle" let out that frustration with a tweet at McGregor saying the Alvarez fight was his. 

Aug. 20, 2016: McGregor outlasted Diaz via majority decision in their UFC 202 rematch in Las Vegas. The five-round classic was instantly hailed as one of the greatest bouts in the sport's history. Despite comments from McGregor in the aftermath that he preferred a shot at the lightweight title next, White chose against stripping him of his 145-pound title. 

Sept. 19, 2016: Nurmagomedov's anger only escalated the more rumors of an Alvarez-McGregor bout raged on. The native of Russia told ESPN's "Five Rounds" podcast that the idea of UFC giving McGregor a lightweight title shot is "No. 1 bullshit" considering he's a champion in a lower weight class. "I deserve it. I am No. 1 ranked," Nurmagomedov said. "Why UFC put me on No. 1 ranking if they don't want to give me title shot? Why do they make rankings? They cannot give him a title shot because he's never fought with the top guys, like top five, top 10 in the lightweight division, and they want to give him title shot?"

Sept. 20, 2016: With Alvarez reportedly stalling negotiations with McGregor by asking for more money, White sent out a curious tweet three days earlier in response to a fan by denying Alvarez-McGregor rumors and claiming Nurmagomedov will get the main event slot at UFC 205 in November. 

Sept. 27, 2016: After UFC announced McGregor would challenge Alvarez in the main event of the company's first show at New York's Madison Square Garden, Nurmagomedov took to Twitter to cry that he had been used as a negotiating pawn

Oct. 5, 2016: One week after Nurmagomedov accepted his own UFC 205 fight against Michael Johnson, he appeared on "The Luke Thomas Show" on SiriusXM and made some clear threats toward UFC about what would happen should he not get a title shot in his next fight. "If I don't fight, I am gonna show how I have power in Russia," Nurmagomedov said. "I don't fight in UFC never and UFC never go to Russia. Because UFC think Conor have power? I have power, too. I have power, too. This is not all about pay-per-view. I have power, too. I am gonna show this power."

Nov. 11, 2016: Following the ceremonial weigh-in at Madison Square Garden before UFC 205, Nurmagomedov and McGregor needed to be separated after briefly having words. Oddly enough the incident marked roughly the halfway point in a four-year journey for the two fighters from posing together for a photo backstage at UFC 178 to facing off at UFC 229 in the biggest fight in company history. 

Nov. 12, 2016: McGregor stopped Alvarez via second-round TKO to become the first UFC fighter to hold two titles simultaneously. After an insane stretch of four pay-per-view bouts in 12 months, McGregor also spoke about needing at least six months off to support the pregnancy of his longtime girlfriend, Dee Deviln, who would give birth to their first child, Conor Jack McGregor Jr., in May of the following year. McGregor left MSG on this night telling reporters that he would need a piece of UFC ownership to consider ever returning to the Octagon. 

On the PPV undercard, Nurmagomedov turned in his own memorable performance by thoroughly dominating Johnson after being rocked in the opening round. Late in the fight, with White watching cageside, Nurmagomedov famously paused during his ground-and-pound to tell the UFC president, "Don't send me more of your fake contract, I need real contract. You already know I deserve this so send real contract and I will go finish this fight." Moments later, Nurmagomedov mercifully ended the bout via submission. After the fight, Nurmagomedov cut a promo on McGregor during his post-fight interview inside the cage with Joe Rogan, proposing a bout in Russia by saying, "I want to fight your chicken."

Jan. 12, 2017: As McGregor remained idle from the championship picture, UFC booked an interim title bout at 155 pounds between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson for March. The much-anticipated showdown marked the third time the promotion attempted to make the fight. 

Jan. 28, 2017: With McGregor and retired boxing star Floyd Mayweather doing their best to keep the conversation alive in the media, the idea of a boxing PPV match between the two began to move from fantasy to reality. Asked about the fight by TMZ Sports, Nurmagomedov said he's "the Floyd Mayweather of MMA" and reminded of his intuitions to face McGregor for the lightweight title as soon as he returns. "Conor has to be careful because I'm going to smash Tony Ferguson and after I'm going to smash Conor McGregor," Nurmagomedov said. "I think after this one, people will begin to forget about this guy."

March 3, 2017: One day before Nurmagomedov's long journey to a UFC title shot was supposed to take place in Las Vegas, he was hospitalized due to a difficult weight cut and missed the weigh-in against Ferguson. Their UFC 209 bout was canceled that day and Ferguson went on to submit Kevin Lee seven months later to win the interim lightweight title at UFC 216. Nurmagomedov, meanwhile, was sidelined the remainder of the year due to Ramadan and back surgery. 

June 29, 2017: Two weeks after a Mayweather-McGregor boxing match was announced for August, White began to spread the word that McGregor was considering a UFC return later in the year. "You know what Conor told me? He said, 'I want Khabib in Russia,'" White told MMAJunkie. "Isn't he f---ing awesome? He's like, 'I want Khabib, in Russia.' He's awesome. Conor McGregor is a f---ing unicorn. There's nothing like him. He's working on boxing Floyd Mayweather and then he's talking about fighting Khabib in Russia right after."

July 15, 2017: Meeting with reporters in London on the final stop of a four-city international press tour with Mayweather, McGregor wouldn't commit to a 2017 UFC return but did say his choices for next opponent were down to Diaz and Nurmagomedov. "There's a few of them in the mix," McGregor said. "A few of them need to pull their shit together, though, and get interest going and get me interested. [Fighting Nurmagomedov in Russia] is certainly one of the things I would like to do. Whether it's next, I don't know. I don't even know how close the Russia thing is [or] whether Khabib can pull his shit together. He missed weight."

Aug 26, 2017: McGregor lost his pro boxing debut via 10th-round TKO when Mayweather stopped the exhausted UFC champion on his feet. Although his performance exceeded the expectations of his critics, the reported $100 million that McGregor pocketed began to fuel speculation that he may never fight against in UFC. The Mayweather fight produced an astounding 4.4 million PPV buys and helped UFC, according to White, produce its biggest year financially in company history despite sagging PPV numbers due to the absence of McGregor and Ronda Rousey. 

Dec. 28, 2017: Two days before his lightweight return against Edson Barboza in Las Vegas, Nurmagomedov revealed that White promised him a lightweight title shot with a victory. Frustrated at his endless pursuit of a title shot, Nurmagomedov also confirmed he's considering cutting down to 145 pounds to face new featherweight champion Max Holloway. Asked by MMAFighting why he's no longer seeking a McGregor fight, Nurmagomedov said, "To be honest, I don't believe he will ever come back but maybe if money is there. He is a smart businessman and maybe it's 50/50 but I don't think about him."  

Dec. 30, 2017: Nurmagomedov returned from an 11-month absence to hand Barboza one of the most violent and lopsided defeats for a fight that went the full three-round distance. The win at UFC 219 once again announced Nurmagomedov as a leading threat to the lightweight crown as the champion McGregor's future remained unknown. 

Jan. 1, 2018: Two days after Nurmagomedov's win, McGregor shared his displeasure with the performance in a series of tweets. "That Dagestani was dog shit the other night," McGregor wrote. "You's are all nuts. Game full of sloppy bums asking to be slept. Pay me my worth and Kings back. Truly truly truly get on your f---ing knees and beg me. Otherwise I don't give a bollox. My whiskey is out this year and that's Diddy bread. And that's Diddy bread on top of already Diddy bread. Now get your Diddy's out and beg." Nurmagomedov responded by typing "Shut up #tapMashine" before posting a photoshopped picture of himself riding a bear while chasing McGregor in an open field. 

Jan. 29, 2018: After signing on for a fourth attempt at fighting Ferguson, this time for the lightweight title in April at UFC 223, Nurmagomedov vowed to make McGregor wait should he pursue a chance at regaining his soon-to-be-stripped title. "[McGregor] can fight Diaz, and he can fight in boxing," Nurmagomedov told RT Sport. "But, God willing, when I beat Tony Ferguson, I'm going to make him humble, and he has to sit in line. Everyone who wants to fight for the title at 155, [he says], 'No way.' When I become UFC lightweight champ, I'm going to say, 'Who is the real contender? Who has a five-, six-, seven-fight win streak?' They have to fight for the title -- not [McGregor]."

April 1, 2018: The fourth time was not the charm as Ferguson suffered a serious knee injury while doing media work at a television studio to promote his title bout with Nurmagomedov. With UFC suddenly scrambling to find a new opponent, Nurmagomedov made a public plea to McGregor. 

April 2, 2018: After Holloway agreed to move up in weight and on just six days' notice in order to save the UFC 223 main event, Nurmagomedov told TMZ Sports that McGregor officially turned down an offer from UFC to face him. "My first option when Tony's out, I tell, 'Hey, where's Conor? I need Conor. He's champ. Bring this guy,'" Nurmagomedov said. "When UFC call [Conor], he say, 'Oh, I am not ready.'" McGregor instantly responded on Twitter by crassly stating, "These fools put out more times than I do with my d---."

April 3, 2018: The UFC 223 craziness only continued at the fighter hotel in Brooklyn, New York, when an angry Nurmagomedov cornered McGregor teammate Artem Lobov in response to a video on social media in which Lobov called him a "p----" for pulling out of fights due to injury. In an altercation that was caught on camera, Nurmagomedov angrily said in Russian (translation courtesy of MMA Focus), "Don't say my name, you understand me? You got it or not? I'm asking you, say it to my face. You said I'm a pussy? Did you?" After Lobov twice denied making the comments, Nurmagomedov closed with, "How you didn't say? Say it to my face. You said I'm a pussy, didn't you? How you didn't say? Don't say such things anymore." Nurmagomedov then slapped him on the back of the head before leaving. 

April 5, 2018: After jumping on his private plane from Ireland, McGregor and a large entourage snuck into media day at the Barclays Center just two days before UFC 223 to confront Nurmagomedov. McGregor went on to maniacally attack a bus in the loading dock filled with UFC fighters and personnel by throwing a dolly through a window and being restrained from doing the same with a guardrail and garbage can. The shattered glass caused injuries to fighters Ray Borg and Michael Chiesa (along with a UFC employee) and caused four UFC 223 bouts to be adjusted or canceled (including Lobov's after he was pulled for joining McGregor's entourage). Women's strawweight champion Rose Namajunas nearly pulled out of her co-main event bout due to emotional distress, which she claims she still suffers from as a result of the attack.   

The attack was captured by UFC Embedded cameras and later used as a key promotional video for Saturday's fight. The same cameras interviewed a surprisingly calm Nurmagomedov as he exited the bus. "Just tell me where, where, and that's it," he said about McGregor. "Why you need come here and show up like you want to fight or something like this? Send a message … without security, without UFC, without nothing. Just send me a message and let me know where and what time." McGregor turned himself into police later that day and was charged with three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief. 

April 6, 2018: McGregor appears in handcuffs in a Brooklyn courtroom and was arraigned for the attack on Nurmagomedov. He was released on $50,000 bail, which was posted by teammate Dillon Danis, and a judge ruled he was allowed to leave the country ahead of his June 14 court date. McGregor teammate Cian Cowley was also charged with one count of assault and one count of criminal mischief for his role, with bail set at $25,000.  

April 7, 2018: After a disastrous few days which also saw Holloway declared medically unfit to face Nurmagomedov due to a difficult weight cut and lightweight Paul Felder deemed ineligible to fight for the title as an unranked fighter by the New York commission, Nurmagomedov captured the vacant UFC lightweight championship that was previously stripped of McGregor by winning a decision over Al Iaquinta. 

After the fight, Nurmagomedov told reporters at the press conference that a McGregor bout needed to happen. "We have to finish this beef," he said. "You want to fight, come. I'm going to make you humble. Just send me location. Now only one champion, no more fake champions. You want to fight, come here. Inside the cage or outside the cage, let me know. Without camera or media, like men. Send me location."

White, who two days earlier called McGregor's actions "the most disgusting thing that has ever happened in UFC history," also spoke at the UFC 223 post-fight press conference and surprisingly began to soften his stance by saying he talked to McGregor and there was "a mutual respect" between them. White also began to downplay the attack in a move that led many to believe a Nurmagomedov-McGregor bout was imminent. "At the end of the day, there's a lot worse that goes on in all the other sports," White said. "So I'll take a dolly through a window any day."

May 26, 2018: During a press conference in Liverpool, England, following Darren Till's victory over Stephen Thompson at UFC Fight Night, White began to steer in the direction of Nurmagomedov-McGregor becoming a reality. "Conor and I are going to meet in Las Vegas," White said. "I'm pretty confident [a lightweight title fight] is a fight that Conor wants, and I'm pretty confident that is a fight Khabib wants. So yeah, I could see that happening."

June 14, 2018: McGregor appeared briefly before a Brooklyn court and began the process of plea negotiations in order to resolve the matter swiftly. He also showed remorse for the attack by telling reporters outside, "I regret my actions that led me here today. I understand the seriousness of this matter and I am hopeful that it gets resolved soon."

July 5, 2018: Just days ahead of UFC 226 in Las Vegas, White officially revealed that McGregor would not be disciplined by UFC for his actions in the attack on the bus carrying Nurmagomedov. "No, whatever happens to him in court is gonna happen," White told Yahoo Sports. "And let me tell you what, he's been penalized financially. This is gonna cost Conor a shitload of money. He has been on the shelf for a while now, and will be for even longer until this is finished. There's nothing more I can do to him than what's been done to him by the law."

July 15, 2018: Less than two weeks before his final court date, McGregor surprisingly showed up on social media at the FIFA World Cup final in Moscow as a guest of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Nurmagomedov was also in the stadium at the time and posted a picture of himself although the two did not meet and Nurmagomedov would go on to tell reporters he wasn't interested in a street fight.

July 26, 2018: McGregor avoids prison time by pleading guilty to disorderly conduct for his role in the Brooklyn attack. Due to the plea agreement, McGregor's violation would not result in a criminal record, nor would it affect his immigration status. He was sentenced to serve five days of community service, attend an anger management program and pay for the damages caused. "I just want to say I'm thankful for the DA and the judge for allowing me to move forward," McGregor said outside of the courtroom. "I just want to say to my family and my friends, thank you for the support."

July 28, 2018: With McGregor cleared to return to the Octagon following his legal proceedings, Nurmagomedov appeared in front of reporters at the UFC Fight Night card in Calgary. "I can't believe we are going to fight because I really want this guy, make him humble, a little bit teach him. [I want to] not only smash but change his face, to change his face. With the face, I can change his mind to and this is what I want."

July 31, 2018: During a brief stay in New York, McGregor was interviewed by TMZ Sports about negotiations for a Nurmagomedov fight. "It's not official, but we are close," McGregor said. 

Aug. 3, 2018: One day before UFC 227 in Los Angeles, White took to the dais for a UFC 25th anniversary press conference in which he announced much of the fall fight schedule, highlighted by Diaz and Poirier at UFC 230 in New York. Asked if a Nurmagomedov-McGregor fight was close, White purposely told a lie and said no. He later closed the press conference by throwing to the video of a surprise reveal that Nurmagomedov and McGregor were booked for UFC 229 in Las Vegas. Angered at what he thought was a lack of respect, Nate Diaz stormed out of the theater during the video and outside told reporters he wouldn't fight on Nov. 3 (although he went on to change his tune). 

Sept. 5, 2018: During a particularly quiet month as both fighters began training camp and stayed away from speaking publicly, McGregor began to taunt Nurmagomedov on social media including a caption to a photo of himself which read, "If he dies, he dies then I'm paid twice."

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If he dies, he dies then I’m paid twice.

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Sept. 20, 2018: Meeting face-to-face for the first time since McGregor's April 5 bus attack, the two fighters shared the same stage at New York's Radio City Music Hall for the lone press conference before the fight. One-liners and intense threats dominated the near 45-minute event, which was held on the stage of the theater in front of a small group of media and an empty audience behind them due to White's decision to ban the public from attending for security reasons. While the fighters avoided any physical contact, the intensity between them was real, with McGregor telling Nurmagomedov, "If you got off that bus, you'd be dead." White went on to call it the "darkest" press conference he had been apart of.