Khabib Nurmagomedov was involved in a scuffle on Saturday night. | File photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
LAS VEGAS -- A wild brawl broke out between the camps of Khabib Nurmagomedov and the Diaz brothers before the main event of World Series of Fighting 22 on Saturday.
The brawl started after Nate Diaz and Nurmagomedov -- whose feud has been simmering on social media -- ran into each other in the crowd. Nurmagomedov was there cornering his younger brother, Abubakar Nurmagomedov, as well as fellow Russian Islam Mamedov. Nate and brother Nick Diaz were at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino to support teammate Jake Shields, who fought Rousimar Palhares for the WSOF welterweight title.
During the main-event walkouts, it appeared that Nate was walking by the area where Nurmagomedov was seated. Words were exchanged, and although Sherdog.com was cageside, it was difficult to see exactly who threw the first punch. Sources have told Sherdog.com two stories: It was Nate after a heated verbal exchange, or it was someone in Nurmagomedov’s camp that threw the first punch and Nate was protecting himself.
Nevertheless, things escalated quickly. WSOF executive Ali Abdel-Aziz jumped out of his seat and got a hold of Nate after he took a swing at Nurmagomedov. Security briefly squelched the skirmish and Nate was escorted away from the Russian. As Nate was exiting the arena, he and Khabib traded barbs again from a distance and Diaz asked him to take the fight outside. In the midst of that, Nick Diaz and teammate Martin Sano Jr. appeared on the other side of Nurmagomedov. Nick hurled a drink at Nurmagomedov, and that was the spark that set the keg on fire. The Russian and his team turned their attention to Diaz and Sano. Tempers flared and Sano rushed someone in Nurmagomedov’s camp. Punches and kicks were being thrown by all as security tried to wrangle the feuding parties before things got really out of control.
Once order was restored, Nurmagomedov could be seen visibly upset as he and his brother spoke with Abdel-Aziz. Police escorts were brought in to ensure that Nurmagomedov would not go after Diaz’s party.
“I don’t know exactly what happened, but people told me Nate threw a punch at Khabib,” said Abdel-Aziz, who also manages Nurmagomedov. “I know Khabib, and he is not the type of guy who starts a fight. I like the Diaz brothers, too, but we’re going to look at some video of what happened. I know someone from their team threw a bottle, and that’s unacceptable and unprofessional.”
Abdel-Aziz wasn’t sure exactly what kind of disciplinary action would take place but did suggest some immediate action would be put in play.
“If you have respect for me and this organization, go fight outside and not here in at our event,” Abdel-Aziz said. “I like the Diaz brothers a lot, but they will not come to a World Series of Fighting event ever again.”