The Nevada Athletic Commission held its first official hearing for the post-UFC 229 brawl between the camps of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor. As expected, no real resolution was handed out by the NAC, with the commission instead expected to hold a full disciplinary hearing on Monday, December 10. For now, both Nurmagomedov and McGregor are temporarily suspended and neither man will know their true fate until early December.
The good news that came out of today’s hearing was that Nurmagomedov was given half of his official UFC 229 fight purse. His purse with the commission was set at $2 million, so he’ll be receiving $1 million immediately. The other half of the money has been sent from the UFC to the NAC for “safekeeping” for now, so Nurmagomedov won’t be able to collect it for at least another month and a bit. That certainly will sting, and if the reports about UFC 229’s pay-per-view buys are accurate at 2.4 million purchases, the UFC should be paying him at least a couple million more in PPV points. The commission says they can hold the PPV revenue for both Nurmagomedov and McGregor until the incident is fully investigated, so both men clearly want this to be put to an end so they can collect their money.
The bad news is that this saga will be dragged on for a little bit longer. We didn’t expect a resolution yet, but we were hopeful. Since the incident went down in early October, tempers between both parties have calmed down tremendously. For his part, Nurmagomedov and his camp are already looking forward to a boxing matchup against Floyd Mayweather — something that isn’t likely to happen, but at least it keeps his name in the news — while for McGregor his camp has already come out and said the incident wasn’t a big deal and that they hope it blows over. Even UFC president Dana White, who said the incident was a black eye on the sport the night of, has now said he’s calmed down about it and says he doesn’t consider it such a big deal anymore. Financially, it’s better for Nurmagomedov, McGregor and for the UFC for the commission to hand out its punishment sooner rather than later. But as we’ve seen in the past for discipline involving fighters like Jon Jones and Nick Diaz, the Nevada Athletic Commission takes its time with these matters.
If you asked most people in the know on the night of the incident, most would have said the commission would throw the book at the two fighters and their camps, and it’s possible that still happens. But as time goes on, cooler heads tend to prevail. The commission will surely want to sent some kind of message with its official punishment that this type of behavior won’t be tolerated, but as time goes on it just seems more likely that the punishment won’t be as severe as initially thought. Many figured Nurmagomedov would get up to a year suspension, but at this point a better guess would be a few months, plus credit for the time currently being served.
The story is not over yet, but hopefully it will be soon. Had Nurmagomedov not jumped over the cage that night and attacked Dillon Danis, everyone would be talking about how amazing his win over McGregor was and how dominant of a champion he is. Instead, the headlines have been dominated by the brawl. It’s an unfortunate thing, but hopefully this will all be over soon. Both Nurmagomedov and McGregor are amazing fighters and it’s in every parties’ best interest for both men to fight again sooner rather than later, so hopefully on December 10 we have a real resolution. For now, though, today’s news is all we have to go on.
What do you think the final punishment will be for Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor?