Dana White Says Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Teammates Deserved Harsh Punishment for UFC 229 Brawl

Dana White didn’t agree with the financial penalty that the Nevada Commission hit Khabib Nurmagomedov with but he does believes his teammates deserved the punishment they received.

Khabib Nurmagomedov Conor McGregor
Image Credit: Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

When it comes to the punishments handed down for the UFC 229 post fight brawl, Dana White has a problem with the financial penalty imposed on Khabib Nurmagomedov but has no problem with the sanctions handed to his teammates.

That’s the word from the UFC president, who addressed the fines and suspensions dished out by the Nevada State Athletic Commission last week after Nurmagomedov leapt over the cage and tried to attack one of Conor McGregor’s teammates in the aftermath of their fight this past October.

The commission ultimately ruled that Nurmagomedov had to sit out nine months — with a three month reduction if he completes an approved anti-bullying campaign for the state — as well as a $500,000 fine. Nurmagomedov has already ruled out doing the public service announcement so he’ll be out of action until at least July.

McGregor was fined $50,000 and suspended six months, which means he’ll be eligible to return after April 6.

As for Nurmagomedov’s teammates — Abubaker Nurmagomedov and Zubaira Tukhugov — they received one year suspensions from the commission as well as each being forced to pay $25,000 in fines after they got involved in the melee inside the cage with McGregor.

Nurmagomedov has proclaimed that he will sit out in solidarity with his teammates until at least October while also promising to pay their fines as well.

“Bad enough the fighters are in there fighting, you cannot have the corner men jumping in and fighting” ~ Dana White

Obviously, Nurmagomedov sitting out for a year isn’t ideal for the UFC but White says the Russian’s teammates absolutely deserved the punishment they received for getting involved in the brawl.

“We’re working on that right now with him,” White said about Nurmagomedov when speaking to the ‘Jim Rome Show’. “The one thing I absolutely agree with the athletic commission on that one. Bad enough the fighters are in there fighting, you cannot have the corner men jumping in and fighting and all the things that went on leading up to that fight with the corner and their teammates. That can never happen.”

White does say that the fine that Nurmagomedov was forced to pay was out of bounds, especially considering how quickly the UFC contained the entire situation within a matter of seconds when he jumped over the cage.

No one was ultimately hurt or injured but Nurmagomedov is still going to pay a hefty penalty for his actions.

“Listen, I understand that these guys have to make a statement, you can’t have guys fighting after the fight. It’s one thing we can never have — or before the fight. But the $500,000, that’s a big number,” White said.  “A half a million dollars that kid got fined. That was a bit excessive.”

Nurmagomedov has stuck to his guns that he will sit out the majority of 2019 while waiting for his teammates to serve out their suspensions as well.

The UFC has still made no decisions about the lightweight championship if Nurmagomedov really does sit out for an entire year following his last title defense against McGregor.