#sports activities Dana White CANCELS UFC 279 press conference after fighters ‘ignite melee backstage’
UFC president Dana White was compelled to cancel Thursday’s press conference minutes after it started because of an ‘absolute s*** present’ backstage involving a bodily altercation between a number of fighters and their respective camps.
‘S*** present – absolute s*** present again there,’ White informed assembled media in Las Vegas. ‘Ask them questions. There’s plenty of loopy s*** happening again there.’
The media session was scheduled forward of Saturday’s UFC 279, which is headlined by a welterweight bout between Khamzat Chimaev and former UFC Lightweight Championship challenger, Nate Diaz.
As White later informed reporters off digicam, an altercation occurred between Kevin Holland, who’s preventing on the undercard, and Chimaev. However, the skirmish did not cease there. According to a number of reviews, different athletes and their respective camps additionally turned entangled within the fracas.
No accidents have been reported, however punches, kicks – and even objects – have been thrown, in keeping with Longtime MMA beat reporter Ariel Helwani.
UFC president Dana White was compelled to cancel Thursday’s press conference moments earlier than it was set to begin because of an ‘absolute s*** present’ backstage involving a bodily altercation between a number of fighters and their respective camps
Rising star Khamzat Chimaev (pictured) is ready to struggle Nate Diaz at UFC 279 on Saturday, however was reportedly pulled right into a skirmish with Kevin Holland earlier than Thursday’s press conference
Kevin Holland is seen on stage in the course of the UFC 279 press conference at MGM Grand Arena
Holland really appeared on the dais alongside one other certainly one of Saturday’s fighters, Daniel Rodriguez, earlier than White appeared on stage and canceled the proceedings.
‘This ain’t going to occur,’ White stated to the gang. ‘I apologize everyone. I’m in very bizarre waters right here. This has by no means occurred within the historical past of this firm.
‘Trust me once I let you know that is the precise determination not to do that press conference proper now. For everyone’s security, that is the precise determination. I apologize. Thanks for coming.’
Helwani posted a video on Twitter afterwards, explaining the incident.
‘They began to change some phrases,’ Helwani stated of Holland and Chimaev’s respective groups. ‘They acquired very shut to every and have been sort of pushing one another and whatnot. No actual bodily exercise by way of kicks, punches landed. But there was positively some physicality, if you’ll.’
Helwani stated former UFC fighter-turned-manager Tiki Ghosn broke up the struggle, including that there wasn’t sufficient safety for the entire those that have been backstage on the time.
But issues did not finish there.
‘Then Nate and his staff present up as the entire thing between Holland and Chimaev dies down,’ Helwani continued.
Diaz’s staff apparently took offense to see Ghosn, a perceived ally, standing alongside Chimaev when issues seemed to be dying down, in keeping with Helwani.
‘Words exchanged, issues exchanged backwards and forwards, after which all of the sudden water bottles are being thrown backwards and forwards,’ Helwani added. ‘Then the entire thing will get out of hand.
White additionally famous that there was a scarcity of backstage safety, which is one thing the UFC might want to right going ahead.
Saturday’s occasion stays scheduled for T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Holland (left) really appeared on the dais alongside one other certainly one of Saturday’s fighters, Daniel Rodriguez (proper), earlier than White appeared on stage and canceled the proceedings
Nate Diaz’ (pictured) and his staff apparently took offense to see Ghosn, a perceived ally, standing alongside Chimaev when issues seemed to be dying down, in keeping with Helwani
The welterweight match contains a rising celebrity in Chimaev (11-0) towards longtime fan favourite in Diaz (21-13).
Chimaev, of Stockholm, Sweden, by the use of Chechnya, has been on an unbelievable run in UFC, successful all 5 of his fights. The first 4 have been sudden and authoritative finishes, and the fifth, at UFC 273, was a barnburner of a call win over Gilbert Burns that may place excessive on the listing for 2022 Fights of the Year.
Diaz, of Stockton, California, has been with UFC since 2007. And whereas he is by no means held a title, he is wildly widespread for his willingness to tackle all comers and have interaction in thrilling fights, most memorably in a high-profile pair of bouts with Conor McGregor, throughout which every fighter gained one apiece.
But Diaz has dropped three of his previous 4 and is getting into the ultimate struggle of his UFC contract.
After months of haggling with UFC over a possible foe, Diaz accepted Chimaev’s problem.
‘What they acquired me doing proper now could be they’re performing like I referred to as for this struggle, which I did not name for, and I do not need, and did not need, and nonetheless don’t need, however I do not give a (expletive),’ Diaz informed ESPN. ‘I’ll struggle anyone.’
At a Wednesday media day, Chimaev, in a nod to the rancor between his opponent and the promotion, stated he hopes Diaz brings the fashion of struggle for which he is been lengthy recognized, whatever the circumstances.
‘I hope he can survive 5 rounds,’ Chimaev stated. ‘It’s good for him. Show his coronary heart and go away from the UFC being a warrior. If I beat him first spherical, everybody goes to say the man is just too outdated and ‘Uncle Diaz goes to need to go house.’
Thursday’s incident was hardly the UFC’s first press conference confrontation.
In 2018, following a press conference at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for UFC 223, MMA legend Conor McGregor and roughly 20 comrades attacked rivals Khabib Nurmagomedov, Rose Namajunas, Al Iaquinta, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Ray Borg, and Michael Chiesa, who have been leaving the sector on a bus.
Security footage confirmed McGregor approaching the bus because it inched in direction of the truck elevators to exit the constructing. At one level he might be seen operating for a dolly earlier than selecting it up and throwing it on the shifting car, breaking a window via which passengers might be seen.
Conor McGregor is seen in footage at a UFC 223 media day at Barclays Center in Brooklyn
‘Approximately 20 guys have been apparently let in via the doorways by the Mac Life guys, who have been credentialed right here,’ White defined, referencing McGregor’s model and its workers who allegedly helped the Dublin native and his crew enter Barclays Center.
‘They opened the doorways for them, via an entrance, they stormed the constructing, acquired all the way down to the loading docks the place the fighters have been getting on the buses and began to assault the buses, throwing trash cans and dollies and issues like that,’ White continued. ‘Broke one of many home windows and lower Michael Chiesa actual dangerous. He lower his head and lower his face.
‘[UFC fighter] Rose Namajunas was apparently nearly hit. She’s tremendous upset proper now… Hurt certainly one of our workers, broke certainly one of our worker’s knuckles.’
Footage from the scene confirmed McGregor making an attempt to hurl a guard rail via the window of the van stuffed with fighters earlier than safety intervened.
A warrant was finally issued for McGregor, who turned himself into New York police. He later pleaded no contest to a depend of disorderly conduct and was ordered to carry out 5 days of neighborhood service.
A warrant was finally issued for McGregor, who turned himself into New York police. He later pleaded no contest to a depend of disorderly conduct and was ordered to carry out 5 days of neighborhood service