Melee before UFC 279 press conference will be investigated by NASC

Backstage melee before UFC 279 press conference will be investigated by Nevada State Athletic Commission as they threaten disciplinary action after Dana White vowed chaotic scenes will NEVER happen again

  • UFC 279 press conference was cancelled after an altercation backstage 
  • Khamzat Chimaev was said to have kicked Kevin Holland during incident 
  • Nate Diaz and team are alleged to have got involved with water bottles thrown
  • Nevada State Athletic Commission are now investigating the melee 

The Nevada State Athletic Commission are investigating the backstage melee that led to UFC 279’s pre-fight press conference to being cancelled. 

It was an unprecedented situation in Las Vegas when the customary event was called off by Dana White for the first time in the company’s history. 

Khamzat Chimaev was alleged to have been involved and was said to have thrown a kick at opponent Kevin Holland. 

UFC president Dana White was forced to cancel last Thursday’s press conference moments before it was set to start due to an ‘absolute s*** show’ backstage 

Nate Diaz and his team are understood to have been involved as the row escalated and plastic bottles were thrown. 

White described it as ‘a big s***show’, adding: ‘This ain’t gonna happen, I apologize, everybody, I am in very weird waters here. 

‘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 apologize. Thanks for coming.’

Khamzat Chimaev (top) was said to have been involved with Kevin Holland (bottom)

And now the governing body in Las Vegas, the NSAC have released a statement: ‘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.

Nate Diaz and his team were alleged to have thrown water bottles during the incident

‘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 behavior 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.’

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