Daniel Cormier has backed his UFC teammate Khabib Nurmagomedov after the Russian threatened to quit the company following the brawl which broke out after Khabib’s win over Conor McGregor at UFC 229.
After the Russian powerhouse’s submission win over McGregor, a brawl ensued involving Zubaira Tukhugov, and UFC president Dana White has threatened to fire the 27-year-old Russian brawler for his actions on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Nurmagomedov released a statement on Thursday aimed directly at the UFC after Tukhogov was pulled from the upcoming fight against Artem Lobov at UFC Fight Night card in New Brunswick, Canada.
Nurmagomedov, 30, said he would quit the UFC if Tukhugov was released from the promotion, a threat that was promised by UFC president Dana White after he got into a brawl with McGregor inside the cage on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
In a lengthy post on his Instagram account, Khabib said: “I would like to address UFC. Why didn’t you fire anyone when their team attacked the bus and injured a couple of people?
“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,” expressed Nurmagomedov.
Tukhugov was one of three people who engaged in the brawl inside the Octagon with McGregor, this after Nurmagomedov had stormed the side of the cage in an attempt to attack the Irishman’s teammate Dillon Danis, who was part of his team in his corner.
The brawl was all down to what Khabib and his team claimed to be racist tensions between McGregor, his team and the Russian stable.
McGregor has hurled numerous racial slurs towards Russian fighter Nurmagomedov, calling him a ‘Dagestani Rat’ and posting a picture of himself on his Instagram account captioned “chilling in Jahanum”, with Jahanum being the Islamic term for hell.
“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 cancelled 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,” continued Khabib before threatening to quit the UFC.
“If you decide to fire him, you should know that you’ll lose me too. 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.”
The Russian warrior then went onto claim that the UFC still owe him money from a previous fight, and told them to keep hold of that, as the money wasn’t as important as the honour that he defended with Tukhugov.
“And one more thing, you can keep my money that you are withholding. You are pretty busy with that, I hope it wont get stuck in your throat. We have defended our honour and this is the most important thing. We intend to go to the end.”
Daniel Cormier then weighed in with his opinion on his official Twitter feed with a tweet aimed directly at UFC owner Dana White, telling him to let Zubaira fight Artem Lobov, and keep all the fighters on the roster.
American Cormier pointed out the fact that nobody was punished by the UFC when Irishman McGregor led an assault on a bus filled with fighters when attempting to go after Nurmagomedov in April of this year.
McGregor threw a metal dolly at a bus on which Nurmagomedov was travelling, injuring two fighters. The UFC chose not to punish McGregor for his actions because of his crowd-pulling ability for the UFC. Four out of the top PPV events have been headlined by the Irishman.
Artem Lobov was pulled from his upcoming fight at UFC 223 for his part in the fracas on the bus, but faced no further disciplinary action or retribution from the UFC after the event and was soon fighting for the promotion again.
The 32-year-old Russian/Irishman Lobov is expected to face a replacement fighter at the upcoming UFC card in Moncton, Canada, but the identity of his opponent is yet to be announced.
As for the future of Khabib and Tukhugov, this still remains well up in the air, with no official word coming from Dana White or the UFC on Zubaira Tukhugov’s actions, or the powerful social media post by Nurmagomedov.
Dana White will surely act on both the misconduct of Zubaira and the post by Khabib, but it seems both men will rise or fall together.