Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
As the UFC didn’t discipline the fighters for the backstage altercations that resulted in the cancellation of Thursday’s UFC 279 news conference, the Nevada Athletic Commission could achieve this based on the upshot of its investigation.
“The Nevada Athletic Commission will strictly discipline all licensees for several incidents of assault between athletes beyond your ring or cage, up to purse forfeiture, revocation or suspension of any current license, denial of applications for new applicants, or denying future license renewals,” NSAC chairman Stephen J. Cloobeck said in a statement, per Marc Raimondi of ESPN.
Raimondi described the chaos, which he noted began with a “near brawl between UFC fighters Khamzat Chimaev and Kevin Holland.”
Chimaev approached Holland, words were exchanged, Holland pushed him away, and Chimaev landed a front kick before UFC fighter Li Jingliang attemptedto break them up. MMA agent Tiki Ghosn was the type of helping to split up the fight, and Nate Diaz and his group threw water bottles at him if they assumed he was with Chimaev.
UFC President Dana White canceled the news headlines conference and told reporters: “I’m in very weird waters. It has never happened in the annals of the company.”
That has been just the start of the strange occurrences, as Chimaev missed weight by 7.5 pounds. That forced a reshuffling of the fight card with Diaz facing Tony Ferguson, Holland and Chimaev squaring off, and Li meeting Daniel Rodriguez.
Diaz-Ferguson was the headliner, and the former placed on a show while clinching a fourth-round submission victory at T-Mobile Arena in NEVADA.
It could have been the final fight of Diaz’s UFC career. If that’s the case, he went with a statement.