It appears seating UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Nate Diaz anywhere near each other during an event is a bad idea.
On Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nurmagomedov and Diaz had to be separated after a verbal altercation could have easily turned physical if not for quick action from the security staff inside the T-Mobile Arena.
“They got into a fight, Khabib and Diaz, talking s—t to each other back and forth,” UFC president Dana White revealed at the UFC 239 post fight press conference. “Everybody broke it up, we moved Diaz and then Diaz left after the [Gilbert] Melendez fight.”
The brief dust up had the crowd on its feet after Diaz was making his way to his seat, which is apparently when he crossed paths with Nurmagomedov.
The two fighters have a volatile history together after previously getting into a physical altercation at a World Series of Fighting event in 2015. On that night, Diaz reportedly threw punches at Nurmagomedov with his older brother Nick also throwing a drink at the undefeated Russian before security intervened.
The incident at UFC 239 didn’t get as far as punches being thrown but White says the fighters were definitely separated before the situation could explode into something much worse.
“Everybody got it [contained] before it became anything other than verbal,” White said.
While they aren’t fighting each other, both Nurmagomedov and Diaz are preparing for upcoming bouts.
Nurmagomedov will look to unify the UFC lightweight titles when he faces Dustin Poirier in September while Diaz is scheduled to meet Anthony Pettis at welterweight in August.
It’s tough to say if they’ll ever get to settle their longstanding grudge in the Octagon but it definitely seems like Nurmagomedov and Diaz are like gasoline and fire anytime they are in the vicinity of each other.