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Khabib could be stripped of title, says UFC president White

By Opta
Khabib escorted out after melee

Las Vegas, October 7: Dana White has warned Khabib Nurmagomedov that he could be stripped of the UFC lightweight title following the brawl that marred the end of his victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 229.

Nurmagomedov forced McGregor to tap out in a famous victory but sparked a mass brawl when he leapt out of the octagon to confront Dillon Danis, one of his opponent's team members.

Former lightweight champion McGregor then came under attack by two individuals who climbed into the octagon after what had been a dominant performance from the Russian.

UFC president White revealed Nurmagomedov had, for the time being, been denied his share of the purse following the chaos, while also insisting there was no guarantee the 30-year-old would not be stripped of the belt.

"It's not 100 per cent," he told reporters. "We're regulated by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, or whatever state we're in. The Nevada State Athletic Commission is going to go after him, I'm sure, pretty hard.

"He doesn't have to worry about me right now, he has to worry about Nevada.

"The Nevada State Athletic Commission pulled the footage from us and there's an investigation going on. They are withholding Khabib's purse, they are not withholding Conor McGregor's.

"They looked at the footage and felt there was no need to hold his. They gave him his and they're keeping Khabib's."

Nurmagomedov was not given the belt in the ring after the fight and was escorted from the octagon by police and security staff.

White said: "Being in there, in the middle of this thing when it was going on, I felt that I have to start worrying about the fans and the people inside the arena - the media, the guys watching the fight.

"I felt that if we put the belt on him in the middle of octagon, it was going to rain. I thought people would throw whatever they had into the octagon and it would be a dangerous situation, so I didn't do it.

"Khabib said 'I'm ready for this', but I said the other 20,000 people in here aren't ready for this.

"And he said 'If I have to be arrested then I have to be arrested, but I want my belt put on me'.

"I said we were going to be lucky just getting him out of here without him getting pelted, so that’s what we tried to do."

White added that McGregor had opted against pressing charges against the individuals who attacked him in the octagon.

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    Story first published: Sunday, October 7, 2018, 13:50 [IST]
    Other articles published on Oct 7, 2018
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