Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov face reckoning for post-fight brawl
Representatives of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and former two-division champion Conor McGregor have struck settlement agreements with the Nevada Athletic Commission’s executive director following their post-fight melee in October.
The fighters’ fates are set to be determined at a Tuesday commission meeting in Las Vegas, according to the meeting agenda.
The hearing will also address discipline for UFC fighter and Nurmagomedov friend Zubaira Tukhugov and the fighter’s brother, Abubakar Nurmagomedov.
The Nevada deputy attorney general “will be proposing a settlement agreement on my behalf to the [commission] chairman and commissioners for Conor, for Khabib and for Khabib’s cornermen,” Nevada Athletic Commission Executive Director Bob Bennett told the Los Angeles Times.
Bennett declined to discuss the suspension time expected for both the unbeaten Nurmagomedov (25-0) and McGregor.
Nevada regulations expose all four men to suspensions of six months to one year.
A lengthy suspension could mean Nurmagomedov and McGregor would not be able to take part in the UFC’s showcase International Fight Week pay-per-view on July 6, which falls exactly nine months to the day after the Oct. 6 incident.
After completing his domination of McGregor with a fourth-round submission at UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Russia’s Khabib Nurmagomedov said he heard a slur directed at him from McGregor’s cornerman and training partner Dillon Danis and leaped over the cage to pursue Danis in the crowd.
McGregor was previously disciplined in Nevada for throwing Monster Energy drink cans at 2016 opponent Nate Diaz and his entourage at a news conference after Diaz’s camp threw filled water bottles at McGregor and a large roll of black tape that struck McGregor’s girlfriend in the arm.
In April, McGregor was charged with a felony in New York; prosecutors said he had orchestrated an attack on a bus occupied by Nurmagomedov inside Barclays Center in Brooklyn, injuring two fighters with broken glass. A plea agreement was struck and he was cleared to fight.
Those transgressions were considered in the current settlement agreement.
In the Nurmagomedov melee, McGregor attempted to exit the octagon, too, and threw a punch at a Nurmagomedov associate before being restrained.
Another man then entered the octagon from the crowd and sucker-punched McGregor from behind before order was restored.
“There is a settlement agreement I’m recommending, but it’s not approved until it’s brought before the chairman and commission, and they discuss it and vote on it,” Bennett explained. “They’ll approve that agreement or change it accordingly.”
McGregor has been engaged in social media banter with veteran lightweight Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone for his next fight.
Nurmagomedov’s No. 1 contender is Orange County’s Tony Ferguson.
Tuesday’s hearing will also settle the matter of UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones, whose Dec. 29 title victory over Alexander Gustafsson was moved from T-Mobile Arena to the Forum because the Nevada commission didn’t have sufficient time to summon witnesses to examine Jones’ positive test for a small amount of a long-lasting steroid metabolite that the California commission had previously scrutinized.
If cleared, as expected, Jones will fight Anthony Smith in the main event of UFC 235 at T-Mobile Arena, and a news conference with those fighters is scheduled for Thursday in Las Vegas.
That card also includes a welterweight title defense by Tyron Woodley against Kamaru Usman, and unbeaten welterweight Ben Askren’s UFC debut versus former champion Robbie Lawler.
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