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UFC 279: Press conference abandoned, Dana White, Nate Diaz and Khamzat Chimaev brawl

The official press convention for UFC 279 descended into absolute mayhem and was rapidly cancelled after an ‘absolute s***present’ behind the scenes the place rival fighters brawled backstage.

The Las Vegas press convention began over half an hour late with no discover or clarification, till UFC boss Dana White opened the delayed press convention by declaring: “Absolute s***present again there.”

“There’s a lot of loopy s**t again there,” he added. The press convention lasted simply 5 minutes and featured solely two fighters earlier than White pulled the plug in chaotic scenes.

A struggle broke out between rival camps backstage, which White later confirmed started between Khamzat Chimaev and Kevin Holland – the “catalysts” – and spiralled to incorporate different fighters.

Watch UFC 279: Chimaev v Diaz LIVE on Most important Occasion obtainable on Kayo & Foxtel, Sunday 11 September from 12pm AEST. ORDER NOW >

“There have been a number of issues occurring on the identical time. It wasn’t only one factor that erupted,” he mentioned. “As soon as it began erupting, it was a whole s***present.”

4 of the six fighters scheduled to look on-stage on the press convention (Kevin Holland, Daniel Rodriguez, Nate Diaz, Khamzat Chimaev, Tony Ferguson, and Li Jingliang) had been concerned within the brawl, the UFC chief confirmed.

White instructed reporters afterwards: “It acquired very bodily, a number of fighters acquired concerned.”

Holland took to Twitter to assert he provided Chimaev a ‘free beard trim’: “Simply so everybody is aware of. I provided that clown a free beard trim. I don’t know anyplace within the US that will supply that service free! I’m exact I promise I might not knick him. At your service similar to the lodge employees bro.”

“There was a lot of stuff earlier than we went out,” White mentioned, however added there have been MORE fights through the press convention. “That was why I ended it.”

Requested if he was caught in the midst of it, White mentioned: “Yeah, I used to be simply attempting to inform all people: ‘What the f*** are you doing. What’s occurring? Cease!’”

White confirmed no fighters had been injured, and added no fighters can be fined or penalised: “No guys, that is what we do. We’re within the struggle enterprise. These items occur.”

White added that even UFC supervisor Tiki Ghosn was concerned within the mayhem.

“Tiki took a pair for the workforce and he’s not even on a workforce. Tiki took a pair water bottles to the pinnacle, a pair slaps, kicks.”

The UFC boss additionally revealed that Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz’s groups comprised of over 100 folks backstage.

He confirmed that the weigh-ins and the principle occasion would go forward as deliberate, however with enormously elevated safety.

THE PRESS CONFERENCE

As a substitute of the same old format of getting all key fighters on stage, White declared the fighters would come out in pairs.

However solely Kevin Holland and Daniel Rodriguez got here out on stage for a short interview earlier than the occasion was deserted fully “for everybody’s security,” as White mentioned.

White appeared fully frazzled and visibly livid, earlier than his private safety guard intervened. White appeared to inform him “F**okay it. Wrap. Wrap it.”

He instructed the expectant crowd: “Yeah, this ain’t going to occur. I apologise all people. I’m in very bizarre waters right here. This has by no means occurred within the historical past of this firm. Belief me after I let you know that is the suitable choice not to do that press convention proper now.”

Boos rained down, and White couldn’t assist however agree with the followers’ livid response.

“I hear ya, I’m with ya. For everyone’s security, that is the suitable choice. I apologise.”

He later mentioned: “That is the craziest press convention we’ve ever had, that’s for certain… This can be a first and I assure you it will likely be the final.”

Common fighter Tony Ferguson later emerged to greet the gang to nice cheers.

Chimaev had instructed ESPN earlier within the week he was able to struggle Diaz and his workforce earlier than the principle occasion.

“In the event that they wanna struggle earlier than (Saturday), f*ck the cash, brother, I’m gonna struggle with them. I like to struggle,” Chimaev instructed ESPN. “I’ve been born for conflict. I’m inside a warrior, don’t care. When the fights come, you don’t care about cash or what’s behind it, simply struggle.

“If he desires to struggle there together with his workforce, I’ve like 20 guys with me. We’ll struggle with all of the groups, you already know. I hope so. I might love if it occurs, one thing loopy issues there. His workforce is previous, brother. My workforce is recent. We kill this. His workforce virtually handicapped, brother.”

Initially printed as UFC 279: Press conference abandoned after backstage brawl

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