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Thursday night’s UFC 279 press conference came to an abrupt ending before the two fighters in the main event took the stage. According to multiple reports, the cancellation stemmed from a backstage fight.
Per Ariel Helwani’s report, things started with Holland’s team and Khamzat Chimaev’s team. They have been going back-and-forth over the last few days.
As they waited behind the curtain, the former started jarring with the latter. Words were exchanged and both sides converged on each other. Some pushing and shoving occurred, but serious punches and kicks did not land.
The skirmish between Chimaev and Holland’s sides was broken up by former MMA fighter-turned-MMA manager Tiki Ghosn. Things started to die down at that point.
However, in that moment, Nate Diaz and his team arrived on the scene.
Diaz and Ghosn go way back, so his team was confused as to why he was standing near Chimaev’s camp. They did not like that.
Initially, pleasantries started flying between the two sides of the UFC 279 main event. And then it started to escalate as water bottles and various objects were thrown across the aisle— hitting Ghosn in the process.
Once things were broken up, the UFC decided that it was better to keep them apart.
Dana White ended the UFC 279 press conference between Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz
Video of the backstage fight has not been released at this time, but Rodriguez posted a look at the aftermath on Instagram.
Neither White nor the UFC have provided comment. In addition, protocols for tomorrow’s weigh-in have not been shared.
The same personalities both parties will be in the same room at the same time during that weigh-in moment on Friday. Will Chimaev and Diaz’s camps be separated? Will they be allowed to get within arms reach? Stay tuned.