UFC 229 on Saturday night in Las Vegas was one of the most anticipated events in company history. Conor McGregor was returning to the cage following nearly a two-year layoff to challenge Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight championship he once held. When all was said and done, McGregor was unsuccessful in that venture, submitting to a choke applied by Nurmagomedov in the fourth round after taking a beating to that point. The action didn’t end there, though, as UFC 229 will unfortunately be remembered more for the post-fight happenings as opposed to the title match itself.
Beginning with Nurmagomedov scaling the cage to attack fellow fighter Dillon Danis on the outside, thein mixed marital arts history. Given the gravity of the situation that took place on Saturday night, there are a lot of questions that need answers attached. While it could be quite a while before all of them reach a resolution, here is what we know to this point.
Can’t get enough UFC? Subscribe to my podcast In This Corner with Brian Campbell where I break down everything you need to know in the Octagon.
UFC 229 fallout
Complaints filed: If you thought McGregor was completely out of hot water in this incident, that’s not exactly the case. According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, who spoke to Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) chairman Anthony Marnell on Monday, complaints will be filed against both McGregor and Nurmagomedov after officials were able to review previously unseen footage from the incident. The filings will take place over the course of the next 24 to 28 hours.
“We will be filing against Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov,” Marnell said. “Because we withheld one purse, we will have to move expeditiously to a complaint and hearing. We have held 100 percent of one of the fighter’s money, so the goal is to get the complaints out in the next 24 to 48 hours.”
Marnell later stated that the goal is to hold the disciplinary hearings for the two fighters by the end of November.
McGregor requests immediate rematch: UFC president Dana White appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” on Monday, and he revealed thatinside the Octagon with Nurmagomedov. Naturally, though, White pointed out that the undefeated lightweight champion must deal with consequences likely headed his way from the NSAC, as well as whatever legal punishment may come before him. White didn’t shoot down the notion of a rematch, though, and was even kind enough to include former interim lightweight champ Tony Ferguson in the discussion, as “El Cucuy” had an .
“(Nurmagomedov) has to go before the Nevada commission, and we have to see what’s going to happen with Khabib and this whole mess,” White said. “But Conor McGregor has already called me, wanting a rematch.
“That’s what Conor has asked for. We’ll see what happens with Khabib and what’s next. Tony Ferguson looked amazing. Those two have been lined up three different times to fight and it hasn’t happened. We’ll see how things play out.”
Luke Rockhold believes Khabib will request a heavy payout: When the melee was finally dying down on Saturday night, there were two notable American Kickboxing Academy teammates of Nurmagomedov helping in calming the champ down: reigning light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and former middleweight champion Rockhold. Monday, Rockhold — who’s set to compete against rival Chris Weidman at UFC 230 on Nov. 3 — appeared with Ariel Helwani on his ESPN show and admitted that if a rematch were to come to fruition, then Khabib would demand the biggest payout check in the history of mixed martial arts.
UFC legend Chuck Liddell weighs in: In an Instagram post on Monday, legendary former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell took time away from training for his upcoming trilogy bout with Tito Ortiz to give his thoughts on the matter. Liddell commended both fighters for their efforts on Saturday before turning his attention to the extracurricular activities that took place. Echoing the sentiments of many over the course of the past few days, the “Iceman” pointed out how embarrassing the brawl was, while also calling out UFC for its promotional efforts leading up to the fight that only fueled the fire.
“Incredible performance by both fighters @thenotoriousmma and @khabib_nurmagomedov,” Liddell said. “But to end it like they did was a huge embarrassment to the sport. We (fighters) are sportsmen and champions and we should hold ourselves to a higher standard. We owe it to our fans and the sport itself. I don’t know when things started turning into some kind of shit show?!!! Unfortunately, when you allow more and more B.S. during weigh ins and outside of fights; You only slap fighters on the wrist for acting like barbarians and then offer them bigger contracts and reward them for this behavior. There is no penalty for their actions and it condones this type of behavior and consequently our sport loses its sacred respect.”
Arrests: Three men involved in the brawl were arrested on Saturday night in T-Mobile Arena. UFC president Dana White confirmed the men appeared to be associates of Nurmagomedov. In a more formal press conference later on, though, White revealed that McGregor refused to press charges against the men and they have since been released.
Purses: Initially, White said that both McGregor and Nurmagomedov would not receive their guaranteed paychecks of $3 million and $2 million, respectively, as they were being withheld by the NSAC. However, White clarified himself a short time later by revealing to reporters that while McGregor would indeed receive his pay, the champion’s check is being withheld due to his actions after his victory.
Lightweight championship: One of the bigger questions coming out of this mess will be the status of the lightweight title. Nurmagomedov did defeat McGregor and was formally announced as the retaining champion, even though White refused to present him with the belt afterwards, as is customary. That doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed Nurmagomedov remains the titleholder. There could be a lengthy suspension, fines or even an arrest in the future for Nurmagomedov. That being the case, he would likely see the 155-pound title taken away from him, a possibility White alluded to in his press conference, though he said he would wait to see what the NSAC decides first.
Suspensions: White promised that if any of the men involved in attacking McGregor were UFC fighters — or even if they were not — they would never fight in UFC. He also said he expects the NSAC to hand down serious punishment to Nurmagomedov, likely a lengthy suspension, especially since the Nevada governor had to run out of the arena after being scared for what was transpiring after the fight.