Who had a cancelled press conference on their 2022 UFC bingo card?
Today, for the first time in the history of the promotion, Dana White scrapped the UFC 279 pre-fight festivities after two alleged melees broke out between an ‘overwhelming’ number of people backstage, including Kevin Holland, Nate Diaz, Khamzat Chimaev, and their respective teams.
“However many years, 22 years, however long I’ve been doing this,” White told reporters at an impromptu media scrum following the cancelled event. “We’ve never had an incident like today. All hell broke loose out here. I don’t even know how to [say it]. We stopped it, but we didn’t do a good job of not letting happen. I just don’t know.”
According to a report from MMA Fighting, the initial brawl broke out between Holland and Chimaev, who have had run-ins before, when the Chechen supposedly kicked Holland in the chest. It wasn’t long before both fighter’s teams became involved – though the tensions seemed quelled not long after. Following this incident, White decided to bring the fighters on stage in pairs, rather than the usual free-for-all.
A solid plan in theory, however Murphy’s law reared it’s ugly head
“We figured two-by-two would work,” White said. “We were wrong.”
Another incident had kicked off while Holland and his UFC 279 opponent Daniel Rodriguez were talking to the media on stage – this time between Chimaev, Diaz and their camps. Matt Serra came on stage to alert White to the brawl, in which bottles, fists and more kicks were thrown, and the UFC president apologised to fans and media, and called off the press conference on the spot.
“The Diaz camp showed up with 57 people,” White said of the second altercation. “Khamzat’s team had 30-something people. Then you had multiple guys going on back here. It was crazy. It was absolutely nuts back here. … You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out where this whole press conference was headed.”
White told reporters there wasn’t enough security present to handle an all-out brawl, and assured tighter measures would be in place during the remainder of the fight build up. No fighters have been penalised for their participation in the incident.
The AllStar MMA roundup
- UFC 279: Get all the Best Bets from The AllStar’s resident fight analyst
- UFC 279: Gilbert Burns sees Khamzat Chimaev finishing Nate Diaz early by TKO
- UFC 279: Elise Reed runs a gym, is in the military and is preparing to give Melissa Martinez “her worst nightmare”
- UFC 279: Chad Anheliger says he wants to finish Heili Alateng – “I want to just beat this guy up”
- UFC 279: Darian Weeks clarifies UFC Paris dropout, ready to open UFC 279 with a bang
The best of the rest
- Michael Chandler still eyes Conor McGregor, but says it’s ‘foolish to hitch your wagon to that fight’ – MMAFighting.com
- ‘Out of the question’ – Nate Diaz won’t consider Jon Jones in GOAT conversation– BloodyElbow.com
- Kevin Holland calls Khamzat Chimaev a ‘wannabe’ gangster, accuses him of acting up for the cameras – BloodyElbow.com
- Thiago Santos exits UFC, signs deal to join PFL roster for 2023 season – MMAFighting.com
- Leon Edwards finds it ‘weird’ that Kamaru Usman was relieved to lose UFC title – MMAJunkie.com
MMA Twitter reacts to the UFC 279 press conference altercation:
Kevin Holland the Instigator:
The Leech misses out on showing off his new suit:
Paulo has something to say:
El Cucuy graced the fans after the presser was shut down:
Just Tony things:
Wiedman, and the rest of the world:
Brunson wasn’t keen:
Nor was Bo Nickal:
The morning view
The boys from Propping You Up have your punts covered for the weekend:
UFC 279 Embedded episode four drops:
Dan Hardy breaks down Nate Diaz’ path to victory at UFC 279:
Chael’s riding with Nate:
- None to note
- Dustin Poirier to fight Michael Chandler at UFC 281 on November 12th (per Ariel Helwani)
- Nick Maximov to fight Jacob Malkoun at UFC Vegas 62 on October 15th (per Brett Appley)
- Andre Petroski to fight Wellington Turman at UFC 281 on November 12th (per Andre Petroski’s IG)
- Loma Lookboonmee to fight Denise Gomes at UFC Vegas 60 on September 17th (per UFC announcement)
- none to note
- Fernie Garcia to fight Brady Hiestand at UFC event on November 19th (per Alex Behunin)
On this day in MMA…
On the 8th of September, 2017, Valentina Shevchenko and Amanda Nunes met for a second time at UFC 215 in Alberta, Canada.
Those hoping for more clarity after the pair’s first somewhat close outing in 2016 were severely disappointed. Once again, the bout went the allotted distance, this time 25 minutes, and ended in a highly contested split decision win to Nunes, the bantamweight champion.
Following this fight, Nunes would continue her winning streak for another six bouts, giving her 12 in total before her eventual defeat at the hands of Juliana Peña. Shevchenko would drop down a division to flyweight after this loss, where she currently holds the title belt, and has amassed a nine-fight win streak in the five years since.