Dana White, Khabib Nurmagomedov

Dana White: “Khabib Nurmagomedov will absolutely not be stripped of title for role in UFC 229 brawl”

Just five days removed from one of the more controversial moments in UFC pay per view history, the aftermath of the UFC 229 post fight scuffle between the camps of both Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov seems to be getting more serious by the day in terms of what consequences will be dealt, and what the future of the UFC lightweight division will be.

As it stands for now, if Nurmagomedov is going to be punished for his actions in the UFC 229 post fight incident, the punishment will more so come from the Nevada Athletic Commission and not the UFC.

UFC President Dana White made this clear when making an appearance on TMZ this week, stating that Nurmagomedov will absolutely not be stripped of his UFC lightweight championship which he retained via fourth round submission over Conor McGregor this past Saturday.

“He absolutely keeps his title,” White told TMZ. “And he’s going to get suspended, so maybe you give him a four-to-six month suspension.

“Listen, [the NAC] took his whole purse right now, and they’re talking about keeping his purse. I do not think that that should happen,” White added when asked about what should happen to Nurmagomedov. “You should not be able to keep his whole purse. … I think they should take $250,000 from him.”

White continued saying his mood has definitely improved since Saturday, admitting he got a little giddy after witnessing the pay per view numbers for the event come in, but still stressed his point that Khabib Nurmagomedov made the wrong choice after his UFC 229 contest.

“I don’t think there’s too many people who don’t understand why he did it, but he shouldn’t have done it,” White said. “He’s the world champion. He just beat Conor in front of the entire world. Stand up, get that belt wrapped around you. You won, you won. The guy who’s yelling at you means nothing. That guy means nothing.”

White had also defended the decision for the UFC not punishing McGregor for his UFC 223 bus attack when he heaved a humongous dolly at the bus window that completely set this feud with Nurmagomedov off.

“It’s different circumstances, you guys,” White said. “[McGregor’s incident] wasn’t at an event. This was in the bowels of the Barclays Center. It was a completely different situation. He was dealing with the state of New York and the police. In this thing (the UFC 229 brawl), [Nurmagomedov] was a part of something that was regulated by the Nevada state athletic commission. He was at an event with more people than have ever been at an event for a UFC event in Vegas. There were tons of fans there. It’s a much different situation.”

Going back to the reason for his self proclaimed excitement, White hinted that early numbers are already indicating that UFC 229 is set to smash the record as the highest selling pay per view in MMA history, while becoming the first UFC  pay per view to garner a buy rate above 2 million.

“We didn’t do 3 million … but it’s so hard to crack 2 million in this [business],” White said. “I mean, even Tyson-Holyfield was at like 1.995 (million). Things like that didn’t crack 2 million. We’re way over 2 million, so I’m happy.”

White ended the discussion saying he isn’t quite sure what’s next for Khabib Nurmagomedov.

“I don’t know. We have to see how this stuff plays out with Khabib and what’s next,” White said. “Tony Ferguson looked amazing that night. That fight was incredible, so we’ll see what happens.”



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George Kennebrew