One of the many arguments that were raised about the UFC 229 post-fight brawl on Saturday night was that it was Conor McGregor who threw the first punch to start the melee inside the Octagon. Video footage of it had surfaced, and as predicted, had been passed around online.
It is a claim that Bellator fighter Chael Sonnen vehemently disputes, as he sends a message to fans who stand by it.
“First up, they can shove it up their ass,” Sonnen told MMA Fighting during the Bellator 208 media day on Thursday. “That whole thing was created by some wimp somewhere about the other guy has to throw the first punch. If you’re engaging me aggressively, and I let you within an arm’s reach, I’m a sucker if I allow you to throw the first punch.”
“The first thing you do – and remember this, if your dads weren’t smart enough to tell you. If you learned how to fight from your moms, or from your wimpy teachers in your liberal school district, you don’t let somebody get within an arm’s reach of you when they got that look in their eye. You keep them back, and if they break the distance, you always hit them first.”
Based on his own argument, Sonnen believes McGregor was in the right with the way he responded.
“Conor McGregor, who I’m not a defender of, was where he was supposed to be, doing what he was supposed to do,” he said. “He was a licensed fighter following the unified rule which says in front of everything else, you protect yourself at all times. He gets up on that cage and is confronted by somebody who is not licensed to be there and is not supposed to be there. He’s not doing what he’s supposed to do and a melee has broken out.”
As for what had actually sparked up the entire brawl, the former UFC title contender pins all the blame to Khabib Nurmagomedov jumping over the fence to lunge over Dillon Danis.
“Conor McGregor had every reasonable right to throw at him, and that did not start the fight. Khabib had flown over the Octagon and thrown a jumping kick at into Dillon Danis. So, first off, your facts are wrong that Conor threw the first punch. It’s factually incorrect.”
“Secondly, the unified rules state: ‘You protect yourself at all times.’ Conor was where he was supposed to be, in an Octagon, protecting himself against somebody who had come in to do him harm.”
“That’s the reality, and if you ask me if I’m getting hate on social media, then I hate you right back. And you can shove it up your ass, because that is what happened.”
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has handed out ten-day suspensions to both McGregor and Khabib as they continue to investigate the incident.