The high-profile main event at UFC 229 last October between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor was overshadowed by the ugly post-fight brawl in which Nurmagomedov leapt into the crowd to attack McGregor’s teammate, Dillon Danis.
The tension between both sets of camps was already palpable before the fight and was fueled several months earlier when Nurmagomedov and his team surrounded another of McGregor’s team mates, Artem Lobov, in a hotel lobby just days before the UFC 233 which was held in April in Brooklyn, New York. Upon hearing of the confrontation, McGregor flew to New York and attacked the fighter bus that “The Eagle” was on. McGregor fled the scene before eventually turning himself in to local police.
Danis was a recent guest on ESPN’s Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show and gave his breakdown of the events that night and what sparked the brawl.
“This started, I think, in the third or second round. I was behind the cage and [Nurmagomedov] started to come, he was pointing and saying stuff to me. I was thinking in my head this guy is crazy. I was just trying to focus on my friend and he kept saying stuff and cursing. Like this dude is insane. Even in between rounds, he was eyeing and mouthing stuff. It started during the fight so I could kind of sense he was in a different state of mind.
“After the fight, even with Nate Diaz, any of them, it is usually respect,” Danis added. “I would never ever start a fight with someone after a fight. I’m a martial artist from the beginning, since I was a kid. That is just not who I am. I’m not going to be the kind of guy after a fight to be like ‘F you.’ You know? That is just not me.
“After the fight was over I was in obviously in shock,” Danis continued. “Conor is one of my closest friends, training partners, I care about him a lot. I got up and I’m just sitting there because I just saw my friend lose. I felt someone hitting me on the back really hard so I’m thinking it was the commission trying to go in the cage. I look back and it was [Rizvan Magomedov]. So I’m like what’s up. Then I turn around and see Khabib throw the mouthpiece or something and there was spit on me because when he threw the mouthpiece, there was spit everywhere. So I was like ‘alright come here.’ So he ended up jumping the cage and whatever happened, happened. It was crazy, it just kind of happened.”
McGregor received a six-month suspension for his involvement while Nurmagomedov was handed a nine-month suspension with the option to reduce it to six by recording an anti-bullying PSA which he didn’t accept. Danis received a seven-month ban for his part.
The suspensions given to McGregor, Nurmagomedov and Danis are retroactive to Oct. 6 and Danis recently revealed his next fight for Bellator MMA, which takes place at Bellator 221 on May 11.