UFC welterweight Li Jingliang describes the scene backstage on the UFC 279 press convention that compelled the occasion to be canceled.
Through the UFC 279 struggle week, the UFC made an unprecedented name and canceled the pre-fight press convention. An altercation broke out between Khamzat Chimaev and Kevin Holland backstage, however this shortly became one thing larger as Nate Diaz and his crew bought concerned with individuals from all sides taking part in a component within the chaos.
One man who wasn’t concerned was Li Jingliang. ‘The Leech,’ who was dressed to the 9 for the event, was instructed as he was on account of stroll on stage that the occasion had been canceled. Jingliang was nonetheless on account of struggle Tony Ferguson at this level earlier than the highest three fights on the cardboard had been all shifted.
Li Jingliang reveals backstage particulars
When the incident occurred, there have been many questions surrounding what really occurred and with there being little footage, there nonetheless is a few confusion.
When speaking to Ariel Helwani, Jingliang revealed what really occurred, having a entrance row seat.
“We had been there and there have been three pairs of fighters for the press convention, so Kevin Holland, ‘D-Rod’, me, Tony [Ferguson], Khamzat and Nate,” stated Li Jingliang “We purple nook had been on this facet, so once we had been ready for the press convention, we made a line. So Holland is the primary, I’m the second and when Khamzat got here in, in my eyes, he was making an attempt to say hi there to us. So he stated hi there to me after which went to Kevin, and in my eyes he was making an attempt to say hi there to Kevin. However I don’t know why, possibly Kevin felt he was just a little bit aggressive, after which he simply pushed him — Kevin pushed Khamzat.
“After which Khamzat simply went backwards and got here again with a kick at Holland, and so then they threw punches and kicks to one another,” Jingliang continued. “So everyone was shocked. After which I simply grabbed Khamzat, I held Khamzat and I separated them and I instructed Khamzat, ‘Not right this moment. Not right this moment, bro. Not right this moment.’ So it’s full chaos there. Then everyone comes — the securities, even [UFC president] Dana [White]. We simply separated these two, however they had been nonetheless shouting at one another.”
“Dana went on the stage and so they modified the plan, so that they let Kevin and ‘D-Rod’ get onto the stage first to separate everyone,” stated ‘The Leech’. “So they’ll do the press convention first after which the opposite two after which the opposite two. However whereas Kevin and ‘D-Rod’ had been on the stage, we had been ready within the backstage, Nate got here along with his crew.
“I can’t keep in mind how many individuals, possibly 10 or extra. After which he simply shout one thing to Khamzat, after which I noticed a water bottle thrown by Nate to Khamzat. And Khamzat dodged the bottle. Nate introduced lots of people to the press convention. So, once I was able to get on the stage, they only instructed me, ‘Okay, we’re cancelling the entire occasion’.” (H/T BloodyElbow)
The Nevada State Athletic fee lately introduced that they’d be investigating the incident with punishments probably following.
What did you consider Li Jingliang’s efficiency?