Brawling UFC fighters slapped with bans
UFC fighters Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor are being suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission for a brawl that erupted inside and outside the octagon after their lightweight title fight last weekend in Las Vegas, an official says.
Letters were sent Wednesday, local time, informing both mixed martial arts fighters they would be suspended for at least 10 days effective October 15, commission executive Bob Bennett said the next day.
A commission investigation was pending and the panel would extend the temporary suspension when it met on October 24, Bennett said.
Nurmagomedov and McGregor could also appeal Bennett's executive action at that time.
Nurmagomedov, who was praised by Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting on Wednesday in Moscow, responded with an angry Instagram post saying he was being unfairly punished.
The fighter complained that discipline didn't follow an incident in Brooklyn, New York last April when McGregor shattered windows of Nurmagomedov's bus with a hand truck after Nurmagomedov confronted one of McGregor's teammates days earlier.
"They could have killed someone there, why no one says anything about insulting my homeland, religion, nation, family?" Nurmagomedov posted. "We have defended our honour and this is the most important thing. We intend to go to the end."
McGregor's manager, Audie Attar, at Paradigm Sports Management, said he was confident the investigation would clear McGregor.
"It will be clear who and where the blame lies," Attar said in a statement. "We are focused on the future."
Nurmagomedov's manager, Ali Abdelaziz at Dominance MMA Management, did not immediately respond to emails.
Abdelaziz's telephone was not accepting messages.
Fighting erupted outside the octagon late on Saturday, local time, after McGregor (21-4) tapped out during a chokehold by Nurmagomedov (27-0) in the fourth round of their UFC 229 clash at T-Mobile Arena.
The Russian champion from Dagestan then stepped away from McGregor, climbed over the cage and scuffled with a fighter in the Irishman's corner.
Members of Nurmagomedov's entourage climbed into the octagon and attacked McGregor, and McGregor also tried to climb out of the cage during the brawl.
Nurmagomedov's $US2 million for the fight has been withheld by the commission pending the outcome of the investigation, Bennett said. McGregor received his $US3 million purse.
"You can keep my money that you are withholding," Nurmagomedov posted. "I hope it won't get stuck in your throat."
UFC president Dana White said three members of Nurmagomedov's camp were detained by police but released because McGregor refused to press criminal charges.
White said the UFC might strip the lightweight title from Nurmagomedov.