Khabib Nurmagomedov threatens to walk away from UFC if promotion fires teammate Zubaira Tukhugov
The current lightweight champion has had enough talk about the post-fight brawl at UFC 229
Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has publicly threatened to walk away from UFC should the promotion fire his teammate, Zubaira Tukhugov, after both played a key role in the UFC 229 melee following Nurmagomedov's win over Conor McGregor.
In a lengthy Instagram post on Thursday morning, Nurmagomedov (27-0) revealed Tukhugov's featherweight bout on Oct. 27 at UFC Fight Night in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, against Artem Lobov has been canceled. Lobov, a teammate of McGregor, was the fighter Nurmagomedov slapped in a hotel lobby two days before McGregor jumped on a plane to seek retribution during an April 5 attack on a bus carrying UFC fighters.
Nurmagomedov's stance is in direct reaction to UFC president Dana White saying during last Saturday's post-fight press conference that every fighter who entered the Octagon to attack McGregor will never fight in the UFC again.
"Why didn't you fire anyone when [McGregor's] team attacked the bus and injured a couple of people?" Nurmagomedov wrote. "They could have killed someone there, why no one says anything about insulting my homeland, religion, nation, family?
"Why do you have to punish my team, when both teams fought. If you say that I started it, then I do not agree, I finished what he had started. In any case, punish me, @zubairatukhugov has nothing to do with that. If you think that I'll keep silent then you are mistaken. You canceled Zubaira's fight and you want to dismiss him just because he hit Conor. But don't forget that it was Conor who had hit my another Brother FIRST, just check the video."
Nurmagomedov was referencing footage of the brawl that shows McGregor throwing the first punch at a member of Nurmagomedov's corner before the Irish star was attacked from behind by another member of the rival team who climbed over the cage behind him.
The native of Dagestan, Russia, currently has his disclosed purse of $2 million withheld by the Nevada State Athletic Commission pending an investigation and told UFC to keep the money should it discipline Tukhugov.
"If you decide to fire him, you should know that you'll lose me too," Nurmagomedov said. "We never give up on our brothers in Russia and I will go to the end for my Brother. If you still decide to fire him, don't forget to send me my broken contract, otherwise I'll break it myself.
"And one more thing, you can keep my money that you are withholding. You are pretty busy with that, I hope it won't get stuck in your throat. We have defended our honor and this is the most important thing. We intend to go to the end."
White told reporters this week that Nurmagomedov will not be stripped of his 155-pound title as UFC awaits the fighter's likely suspension by the Nevada commission. The promotion finds itself in a precarious place at the moment after choosing against disciplining McGregor for his role in the premeditated April attack and instead rewarding him with the biggest fight purse in company history in his return from a nearly two-year layoff.
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