Dana White Admits He Was the Only Person Truly Upset About Post Fight Brawl at UFC 229
The fallout from the post fight brawl at UFC 229 will continue this week when the Nevada Athletic Commission holds a hearing that could affect both Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor.
The entire melee unfolded just seconds after Nurmagomedov submitted McGregor as he jumped over the cage to go after one of the Irishman’s teammates who was working his corner for the fight. Inside the cage, McGregor ended up getting into a physical altercation with three of Nurmagomedov’s teammates before security could eventually intervene.
The commission will decide on Wednesday whether or not to temporarily suspend the fighters pending a full hearing and decide what to do with Nurmagomedov’s $2 million purse, which was withheld after the fight.
While the fighters may still deal with sanctions from the brawl, UFC president Dana White says as unfortunate as that ordeal was at UFC 229, it doesn’t appear anybody really cares except for one person in particular.
“I think the most upset person that night after the fight was me,” White said when speaking to ESPN. “There’s been zero response. Actually the response is people agreed with Khabib and thought Khabib should have done it. But for me personally, all the work I put into this for the last 20 years of my life, I didn’t want to see it go down like that.
“I was upset about it. I was the only one. The rest of the world could care less.”
White went onto explain that part of the genesis of his agitation over the incident stems from the fact that UFC 229 will go down as one of the five biggest pay-per-views in history, which means even more eyeballs were on the sport that night.
“For me, it was just our biggest moment, the most people watching ever and this is not who we are and it’s not even who Khabib is,” White explained. “He said it many times after the fight, he went crazy after the fight and it happens sometimes. This is the fight business.
“I was the most upset guy on the planet after that fight. Nobody else cared.”
In the aftermath of the event, McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh has said that he didn’t really feel like the brawl was a huge deal and he actually hoped Nurmagomedov wouldn’t face any serious sanctions for his actions.
UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who is also Nurmagomedov’s teammate and part time coach, echoed Kavanagh by saying ultimately no one was hurt and the brawl was contained within seconds.
White actually agrees with them in principle but he can’t ignore the black eye that the sport took that night, which is why he can’t help but consider the entire incident a big deal.
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“It is a big deal,” White said. “We’re a professional sport, these are professional athletes, we’re in the state of Nevada, the fight capital of the world. We’re representing T-Mobile, the MGM, and the sport as a whole. It was a big deal.
“We contained it and everything went fine and it ended up well, nobody cared but me but it was a big deal.”