The Nevada Athletic Commission is keeping a close eye on the incident that cancelled the UFC 279 press conference at MGM Grand Garden Arena this past Thursday.
An altercation between several UFC fighters including Khamzat Chimaev, Kevin Holland and Nate Diaz, along with their teams, is now under investigation by the NAC – the state’s regulatory body of the sport.
According to reports, the incident started between Chimaev and Holland, and then later involved Diaz and his team on. Chimaev allegedly kicked Holland on the chest and water bottles were thrown. UFC president Dana White called it a“big sh*t show” and cancelled the press conference amid the chaos.
In a public statement released on Monday, the NAC says it’s looking into the matter and will look to punish any licensees for any incidents of physical violence.
“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 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.”
The UFC 279 press conference was the only thing that suffered a consequence from the incident. The fighters who were allegedly involved all competed at UFC 279 on Saturday night.
White told reporters following the altercation that moving forward, the UFC will add more security and have better protocols to avoid another similar situation in the future.
‘We come here with a skeleton crew for the press conferences,” White told reporters on Thursday. “There aren’t nearly as many people as there are for the ceremonial weigh-ins. We’ll have tons of security, Metro, it’s a totally different ball game. … This will never happen again.”