But when Conor McGregor arrived 26 minutes later, Nurmagomedov was gone, saying he wasn't going to wait around for the tardy Irishman. While the undercard has drawn some criticism, this is far from a one-fight show.
"For me, this is more than just defending my title".
McGregor has made a habit of arriving late to scheduled events during his UFC career and continued it at by turning up on his own time to a press conference in NY last month.
After 15 minutes of answering questions while the crowd attempted to drown him out, the native of Russian Federation delivered on his threats to leave when McGregor never showed.
Are you going to the fight on Saturday?
You've got 12 minutes to name all of McGregor's pre-UFC opponents. He also expressed his opinion that McGregor is the biggest star in all of combat sports. However, even setting aside all the bravado and money, inside the cage, McGregor's probably among the Top 10 fighters of all-time and has an exciting style, to boot.
McGregor eventually turned himself in to the police, according to a police spokesman.
As for McGregor's tardiness, he added: "I don't need to wait for nobody".
Ireland's McGregor, 30, is returning to the Octagon after nearly two years out and having lost a boxing fight to Floyd Mayweather in August 2017. He was also stripped of his two UFC belts. "I don't want to say we're going to do Mayweather-McGregor numbers but we could possibly do Mayweather-McGregor numbers".
Do you think Conor McGregor will once again be able to defy the odds and hand Khabib Nurmagomedov the first loss of his mixed martial arts career at UFC 229?
The truth is that the current UFC lightweight champion, Nurmagomedov is really a awful stylistic matchup for any fighter.
The Irishman and his squad are literally in a war situation with the Dagestani fighting squad lead by Khabib.
The 30-year-old Khabib will take on McGregor and put his lightweight title along with an impeccable record on the line. "[Expletive] it, I'm ready to fight this man". Then there was the Iaquinta fight, where Nurmagomedov was only a victim of his high expectations. You just steam yourself in that sauna and soak you f--ing Dagestani rat. He threw a metal barricade at a window of the bus, smashing glass and injuring several people on board, including two fighters who had to be removed from the card. "That's the one I'm more interested in".
Asked whether he would look to make peace with Nurmagomedov and bury their grudge after the might, McGregor drew the biggest response of the day.