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“Massive brawl” breaks out between UFC fighters at press conference

dana white slap

The press conference had to be cancelled.

A major brawl broke out at the press conference for UFC 279, where Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz were supposed to address each other officially for the first time.

The press conference didn’t even get a chance to begin though, as Chimaev reportedly sparked a brawl involving up to 100 people when he kicked fellow fighter Kevin Holland.

Dana White said afterwards that it was Chimaev and Holland that started it, and that it was a “shitshow”.

“Yeah [it was Khamzat Chimaev and Kevin Holland that started it]. There were multiple things going on at the same time. It wasn’t just one thing that erupted and it happened. There were multiple things going on at the same time.

“So there was security over there, there was no security over there. There was no security over there cause everybody was dealing with the other thing and once it all started erupting, it was just a complete shitshow.”

Chimaev vs Holland UFC brawl

Prominent MMA journalist Ariel Helwani took to Twitter to give an account of what happened, insisting that it could have been “much worse”.

He said: “Before going out behind the curtain, Chimaev and Holland were exchanging words. They got very close to each other and were pushing each other.

“There was some physicality… Kicks were thrown and punches were thrown. All of a sudden water bottles were being thrown.”

Elaborating on the situation, he wrote: “General sentiment seems to be that it could have been MUCH worse but was also a very ugly scene, if that makes sense. Much worse in that people could have gotten seriously hurt. Luckily, not hearing anyone was seriously hurt at this time.”

The fight between Diaz and Chimaev will take place in the early hours of Sunday morning for Irish people, with the latter going into the fight as the heavy favourite.

However, as many have learned in the past, counting out Diaz would be a bad move.

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