Nevada Athletic Commission Will Investigate Backstage Fights at UFC 279 Presser

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 12, 2022

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

While the UFC did not discipline any of the fighters for the backstage altercations that led to the cancellation of Thursday's UFC 279 news conference, the Nevada Athletic Commission could do so depending on the outcome of its investigation.

"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," 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 attempted to break them up. MMA agent Tiki Ghosn was among those helping to break up the fight, and Nate Diaz and his group threw water bottles at him when they assumed he was with Chimaev.

UFC President Dana White canceled the news conference and told reporters: "I'm in very weird waters. This has never happened in the history of this company."

That was just the beginning 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 put on a show while clinching a fourth-round submission victory at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

It may have been the last fight of Diaz's UFC career. If so, he went out with a statement.


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