Chaos ensued for the UFC 279 pre-fight press conference, in what UFC President-Dana White called a ‘s**t show.’ UFC 279 is scheduled for this Saturday as undefeated hype-train Khamzat Chimaev (11-0) is set to take on the UFC veteran and always exciting-Nate Diaz (20-13).
Pre-Fight Presser Makes History
In the opening moments of the press conference for UFC 279, White said “S**t show, absolute s**t show back there. Ask them questions, there’s lots of crazy s**t going on back there.”
The only fighters on the stage were Daniel Rodriguez and Kevin Holland rather than the complete six fighters which would’ve also been Tony Ferguson, Li Jingliang, Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz. Rodriguez and Holland answered a few questions before exiting the stage and it looked like White was going to allow Jingliang and possibly Ferguson to come up but after further information White received from another UFC staff member, White elected to cancel the press conference.
“This ain’t going to happen, I apologize everybody.” White continued “I am in very weird waters here. This has never happened in the history of this company, trust me when I tell you this is the right decision not to do this press conference right now.” White concluded “For everybody’s safety, this is the right decision, I apologize. Thanks for coming.”
During a media scrum following the cancellation of the press conference, White told reporters that none of the fighters involved required medical attention and that none of the fights are in jeopardy for the card on September 10th.
Details Known So Far
White added during the media scrum that the fight and chaos were started by Chimaev and Holland. It’s been reported that apparently the skirmish started between Holland and Chimaev with it becoming physical and once it was broken up by others, including Chimaev’s former opponent-Jingliang pulling Chimaev away, who faces Ferguson this Saturday. Afterwards Diaz and his team arrived, and it’s been reported that words were exchanged, and the situation further escalated to the point where things were being thrown between the camps of Diaz and Chimaev.
White also added it was broken up in large part thanks to former UFC fighter-Tiki Ghosn. “If it wasn’t for Tiki, we would have been in big trouble. Tiki took a couple for the team, and he wasn’t on either team.” White further explained the UFC wasn’t prepared for something of this magnitude to happen and will be better prepared going forward. “This is what we do, this is the fight business we’re in. What we do is look at how this happened today-why were we unprepared for this? Why were we not able to manage this backstage better than we did, and we’ll be better next time we do a press conference. This will never happen again.” White explained.
Ariel Helwani tweeted “Khamzat Chimaev push kicked Holland in the chest. Chimaev was reacting to things Holland has said recently and it set him off, I’m told. Once that was broken up the Chimaev-Diaz part of the story popped off and then bottles started flying.”
The details on the situation aren’t entirely clear and at the time of writing there are no videos known of the situation that transpired. There is a video of Holland and Chimaev’s team in the lobby after the press conference with tensions high and words still being exchanged. You can find the video embedded in the tweet below per Aaron Bronsteter for TSN sports.
Do you think this whole fiasco around UFC 279 helps or hinders the PPV this Saturday, are you more excited? Let us know in the comments! In depth details aren’t very clear at the time of writing and there is no video at this time but stay tuned to Overtime Heroics for any further details that emerge on the matter.
Main image credit Embed from Getty Images