Investigation launched after UFC 279 backstage brawl with kicks thrown and bottles tossed leaving Dana White fuming | The Sun

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched following a backstage brawl as tempers flared between Khamzat Chimaev, Kevin Holland and Nate Diaz ahead of UFC 279.

Chimaev, 28, was supposed to face off against UFC legend Diaz, 37, in what is supposed to be the Stockton-born southpaw's final outing in the company with his contract expiring.

But the Swede missed weight by a whopping seven-and-a-half pounds, leading to some accusing him of deliberately coming in heavy to scupper the fight.

A late card reshuffle saw Diaz take on and beat Tony Ferguson, while Chimaev made Holland submit.

But before the fighters stepped inside the octagon, tensions flared at a pre-fight press conference.

Chimaev allegedly threw a kick at opponent Holland.


Khamzat Chimaev suffered physical issues cutting weight for Nate Diaz fight

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Diaz and his team were also believed to be involved with plastic bottles being thrown.

The altercation left UFC boss Dana White fuming to the point where the customary event was called off for the first time in the company's history. 

An investigation by the Nevada State Athletic Commission will also take place.

White described the altercations as a "s**tshow", before adding: "This ain't gonna happen, I apologise, everybody, I am in very weird waters here.

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"This has never happened in the history of the company.

"Trust me when I tell you, this was the right decision not to do this press conference right now. 

"(Crowd boos) I hear ya, I'm with ya but for everybody's safety this is the right decision, alright, I apologise. Thanks for coming."

An NSAC statement read: "Nevada State Athletic Commission Chairman Stephen J. Cloobeck, and Executive Director Jeff Mullen are aware that the UFC Press Conference on Thursday, September 8, 2022, was cancelled midway through the event.

"Early reports indicate that an altercation took place prior to and during the press conference, and possibly involved licensed fighters and their associates.

"The Chairman has been in communications with UFC executives regarding the events of September 8. At this time, the UFC is working with the Nevada Athletic Commission on a full investigation into this incident.

"If the Nevada Athletic Commission determines that licensees acted improperly, we will initiate appropriate disciplinary action against all involved.

"Although 'trash talking' between competitive athletes is common, any escalation into physical altercations may discredit the sport of unarmed combat and is wholly unacceptable. 

"Further, such behaviour may expose participants to both civil and criminal liability.

"The Nevada Athletic Commission will act strongly and decisively to safeguard and elevate unarmed combat in Nevada.

"The Nevada Athletic Commission will strictly discipline all licensees for all incidents of physical violence between athletes outside the ring or cage, up to and including purse forfeiture, revocation or suspension of any current license, denial of applications for new applicants, or denying future license renewals."

UFC legend Conor McGregor slammed Chimaev for failing to make weight, claiming other fighters may follow suit as the wrestler was handed a new opponent.

The Irishman tweeted: “My opinion they should have pulled Khamzat from the card entirely. 

“Reconfiguring bouts, and with a more favourable bout for the failed cutter, will only make many others in the game follow suit. 

“The smirks on the scale where enough for me. Pull from the card and starve. McG UFC.”

While Khabib Nurmagomedov says Chimaev weigh-in shambles is due to him not having "Muslims around him" .

Speaking at a recent event hosted by the non-profit organization Human Appeal, the former UFC champion said: "If you are a Muslim, you should have good people around you – Muslims who can say, ‘Hey, don’t do this.'"

"I recently watched the weigh-in of Khamzat Chimaev. I followed what was happening with his weight and looked at his team.

"There are no Muslims around him and this is very bad. Because if you are a Muslim, you need good, strong people around you. [They] will say, 'Come back, do this.'

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“When you become famous and rich, when you gain power and [around you] there are no people who will give advice or you do not listen to them, then something will happen.

"You need good people, even if you don’t like it, you need them."

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