The UFC’s lightweight title picture will be cloudy until at least early next year.
Khabib Nurmagomedov had his Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) case continued upon request and will not receive his sanctions related to the UFC 229 post-fight brawl until January at the earliest, commission executive director Bob Bennett told MMA Fighting on Sunday night.
The UFC lightweight champion was initially supposed to have a disciplinary hearing Monday in Las Vegas, but Nurmagomedov’s legal team and the state were unable to come to an adjudication agreement before the monthly commission meeting, Bennett said. Bennett said Nurmagomedov’s team requested a continuance if there was no set agreement before Monday’s scheduled hearing.
The next commission meeting after Monday is scheduled for Jan. 29, per Bennett, and Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor’s disciplinary hearings will likely be on that agenda. There is still the possibility of settle agreements with each. McGregor was granted a continuance in his disciplinary case — he also had a hearing originally scheduled for Monday — last week.
Nurmagomedov, 30, climbed out of the Octagon in an attempt to go after Conor McGregor’s cornerman Dillon Danis at UFC 229 on Oct. 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Nurmagomedov had just finished McGregor by submission in the fourth round of their UFC lightweight title fight.
After the referee stepped in to stop the action, Nurmagomedov lingered near a sitting McGregor and said something to him. Then he turned toward McGregor’s corner, where Danis was yelling at Nurmagomedov. Nurmagomedov took out his mouthguard and threw it at the cage in Danis’ direction, then evaded security and NAC inspectors to climb out of the cage and make a running jump toward Danis.
With a scuffle ensuing on the outside in McGregor’s corner, McGregor then ran over in that direction and climbed onto the cage. He was met there by Nurmagomedov’s training partner Abubakar Nurmagomedov. McGregor landed a punch on him before they could be separated by NAC inspector Charvez Foger. Back in the cage, McGregor exchanged blows with Nurmagomedov teammate Zubaira Tukhugov and got punched from behind by another Nurmagomedov teammate, Esedulla Emiragaev.
No one was arrested in the incident. McGregor is facing a fine and suspension from the NAC, like Nurmagomedov. McGregor, Nurmagomedov, Danis, Tukhugov and others involved are all currently under indefinite suspension by the NAC, pending disciplinary hearings. Any eventual fine money will go to the state’s general fund and not the commission itself.
The melee was the culmination of an ugly build up to the fight, that included McGregor getting arrested in April for throwing a dolly at a UFC fighter bus in which Nurmagomedov was riding on, shattering a window. Nurmagomedov, a Muslim, said after UFC 229 that he took particular umbrage with how McGregor promoted the fight, including bringing his religion into it.
”He talk about my religion, he talk about my country, he talk about my father, he come to Brooklyn and he broke bus, he almost killed a couple people — what about this?” Nurmagomedov said at the UFC 229 post-fight press conference.