Khabib Nurmagomedov will remain a UFC fighter despite a very public threat against the company to quit over the aftermath of his infamous brawl involving Conor Mcgregor during UFC 229, according to UFC president Dana White in an interview with TMZ.
“We’re good with Khabib,” White said. “You guys are still posting that s—. That was a week ago. A lot happens in a week in this business.”
“We’re good. We worked it out. We’re going to get everything worked out. Obviously, he was a little upset. A little fired up. Guys get emotional and that was a very emotional fight for him, obviously. At the end of the day, Khabib is a great guy, and we always have had a great relationship with him.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s threat to leave UFC
Nurmagomedov made a tense situation even more volatile last Thursday when he posted a lengthy statement on Instagram threatening to leave the UFC if it kicked out his teammate Zubaira Tukhugov for attacking McGregor in the octagon during the postfight chaos.
“If you decide to fire [Tukhugov], you should know that you’ll lose me too,” Nurmagomedov said. “We never give up on our brothers in Russia and I will go to the end for my Brother. If you still decide to fire him, don’t forget to send me my broken contract, otherwise I’ll break it myself.”
The lightweight champion also criticized the UFC for a perceived double standard in his treatment compared to what McGregor received for his own chaos earlier this year, and expressed a disregard for the $2 million UFC 229 purse that was being withheld from him.
I would like to address @ufc Why didn't you fire anyone when their team attacked the bus and injured a couple of people? They could have killed someone there, why no one says anything about insulting my homeland, religion, nation, family? Why do you have to punish my team, when both teams fought. If you say that I started it, then I do not agree, I finished what he had started. In any case, punish me, @zubairatukhugov has nothing to do with that. If you think that I’ll keep silent then you are mistaken. You canceled Zubaira’s fight and you want to dismiss him just because he hit Conor. But don’t forget that it was Conor who had hit my another Brother FIRST, just check the video. if you decide to fire him, you should know that you’ll lose me too. We never give up on our brothers in Russia and I will go to the end for my Brother. If you still decide to fire him, don’t forget to send me my broken contract, otherwise I'll break it myself. And one more thing, you can keep my money that you are withholding. You are pretty busy with that, I hope it won’t get stuck in your throat. We have defended our honor and this is the most important thing. We intend to go to the end. #Brothers
A post shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) on Oct 11, 2018 at 6:32am PDT
Increasing Nurmagomedov’s leverage in a hypothetical standoff with the UFC was a public flirtation with Floyd Mayweather over a potential fight between undefeated champions.
Despite that threat, it appears the Russian fighter has still decided to remain with the UFC for now.
Dana White doesn’t rule out punishing Khabib’s teammate
One factor still left open by White in his interview with TMZ was the fate Tukhugov, though Nurmagomedov reportedly being happy might be a good sign for his teammate. Whatever was said behind closed doors, White still opted to not commit to Tukhugov staying with the UFC.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen.,”White said. “We’ll see how it plays out.”
Tukhugov was suspended from the UFC in 2016 for performance enhancing drugs, and his actions during the brawl in UFC 229 prompted White to pull him from a fight against McGregor teammate Artem Lobov scheduled for Oct. 27. No further punishment for Tukhugov has been announced yet.
McGregor has already agreed to not press criminal charges against Tukhugov.
Khabib’s punishment still undecided
While Nurmagomedov is apparently staying with UFC, it’s still unknown what officialy punishment he will face. We already know he’ll keep his lightweight belt, but the Nevada State Athletic Commission is still withholding his $2 million check from the UFC 229 purse and has suspended the Russian while it investigates him and McGregor.
A hearing will be held by the NSAC on Oct. 24 to vote on whether or not to suspend McGregor and Nurmagomedov indefinitely.
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