Khamzat Chimaev claims his rivals ‘got what they deserved’ in ‘absolute s*** show’ backstage scrap with Kevin Holland and the Diaz brothers which forced Dana White to CANCEL the UFC 279 press conference… and Darren Till has revealed what really happened
- Khamzat Chimaev has shown no regret after the backstage brawl at UFC 279
- He was involved in a francas that saw the pre-fight press conference cancelled
- The rising UFC star is scheduled to fight Nate Diaz in Las Vegas on Saturday
- Fellow UFC fighter Darren Till has revealed what really went on with the brawl
Khamzat Chimaev appears to have no regrets following the backstage brawl ahead of UFC 279 which caused the pre-fight press conference to be cancelled in an unprecedented step.
Chimaev clashed with Kevin Holland and Nick and Nate Diaz ahead of his bout with Nate Diaz on Saturday.
A fight erupted between Chimaev and the Diaz brothers, along with several other fighters and their respective camps.
This forced UFC president Dana White to take the unprecedented step of cancelling Thursday’s pre-fight press conference.
Khamzat Chimaev appeared to have no regrets after a shocking backstage brawl on Thursday
Further details have continued to emerge about the backstage scrap, but Chimaev was unapologetic.
He posted on his Instagram story in relation to the fight: ‘I told them: Don’t joke with us. Kevin got what he deserved. Diaz got what he deserved.’
The press conference was cancelled minutes after it began due to an ‘absolute s*** show’ backstage, according to White, involving a physical altercation between several fighters and their respective camps.
‘S*** show – absolute s*** show back there,’ White told assembled media in Las Vegas. ‘Ask them questions. There’s lots of crazy s*** going on back there.’
The media session was scheduled ahead of Saturday’s UFC 279, which is headlined by a welterweight bout between Chimaev and former UFC Lightweight Championship challenger, Diaz.
As White later told reporters off camera, an altercation occurred between Holland, who is fighting on the undercard, and Chimaev. However, the skirmish didn’t stop there. According to multiple reports, other athletes and their respective camps also became entangled in the fracas.
Chimaev and Nate Diaz are scheduled to fight on Saturday at UFC 279 in Las Vegas
UFC president Dana White was forced to cancel Thursday’s press conference moments before it was set to start due to an ‘absolute s*** show’ backstage involving a physical altercation between several fighters and their respective camps
ESPN reported that Chimaev walked toward Holland backstage leading to some shoving and people trying to separate the two before Chimaev hit Holland with a front kick.
Chimaev was then pulled back by Li Jingliang and Tiki Ghosn, along with security at the venue, before Holland chased him as the two were kept apart.
Members of Diaz’s team then saw Ghosn and Chiamev together and apparently took offense to seeing Ghosn, a perceived ally, standing alongside Chimaev.
They then started shouting at him before some members of Diaz’s team decided to lob bottles at the teams of Ghosn and Chiamev, with Ghosn struck in the head and also on the receiving end of several slaps and kicks.
Darren Till, an ally of Chimaev, gave a further insight into what had gone on.
‘When Khamzat [Chimaev] went out for the press conference, we were all standing up and we were doing our own thing, and they were doing theirs,’ he told TheMacLife
‘I then saw one of the security guards running backstage, and then they came out saying they have cancelled the press conference at the MGM.
‘So everyone is stood up and leaving, and I couldn’t get to the entrance, so me and one of Cam’s lads, our training partner, have run through and went to the back bit, we didn’t see a lot so something must have happened before.
‘We came back to the hotel and Khamzat is staying here and we have heard that Nate’s team has come here and if they have, then it is for one reason.
‘I don’t see this as anything. It is just team versus team, they are going to protect Nate and we are going to protect Khamzat.
‘The funny thing is that they were all in the black and we were all in black, so imagine if I had started punching some of my own team.
‘Then there was no one outside, so it was like whatever. Then we were having food and then security came up to us and said Kevin Holland’s team is here and there is 30 of us and he has only four or five.
‘If he bumps into Khamzat that is their beef, 30 of us are not going to jump in on Kevin.
Darren Till revealed what really happened at the brawl backstage but played down the fracas
‘Then I have seen Kevin and I said “none of us are going to jump you, just worry about your friends” and he said don’t tell me what to do, so I was like “do what you do, I don’t really give a f***”, and then one of his team said something to one of mine and I said “brother this isn’t it” and we went back in the restaurant.’
However, despite the fracas between several fighters and their entourages, Till played down the brawl.
He said: ‘It is just how it is. I think people outside build it up more than it is, we are fighters we don’t think about it.
‘Hundred million per cent (it could have kicked off), all I know is Diaz’s team like 57 of them is over there and we are over here like 35 of us. Most of them are fighters and we are all fighters, if we get close, something is going to get said.
‘Most of us come from the streets and most of them do. Someone is going to be looking at someone and then we are going to go fight, that is what is going to happen. It is probably going to go off. Of course it can.
‘I am just here to make sure Khamzat wins his fight and gets paid.’
Chimaev orginally clashed with Kevin Holland, who is fighting on the undercard at UFC 279
After the backstage brawl, White paid tribute to Ghosn. He said: ‘If it wasn’t for Tiki, we would have been in big trouble. Tiki took a couple for the team and he wasn’t on the team.
White then outlined that in the future news conference would have more backstage security to try and ensure similar incidents don’t take place again.
He explained: ‘This is what we do. This is the business we’re in. This is the fight business. These things happen. What we do is look at how this happened today — why were we unprepared for this? Why were we not able to manage this backstage better than we did? And we’ll be better next time we do a press conference. This will never happen to us again.’
Longtime MMA beat reporter Ariel Helwani posted a video on Twitter after the incident explaining what had gone on.
He said: ‘They started to exchange some words,’ Helwani said of Holland and Chimaev’s respective teams. ‘They got very close to each and were kind of pushing each other and whatnot. No real physical activity in terms of kicks, punches landed. But there was definitely some physicality, if you will.’
Helwani said former UFC fighter-turned-manager Ghosn broke up the fight, adding that there wasn’t enough security for all of the people that were backstage at the time.
But things didn’t end there.
‘Then Nate and his team show up as the whole thing between Holland and Chimaev dies down,’ Helwani continued.
‘Words exchanged, things exchanged back and forth, and then all the sudden water bottles are being thrown back and forth,’ Helwani added. ‘Then the whole thing gets out of hand.
Despite the brawl, Saturday’s event remains scheduled for T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The welterweight match features a rising superstar in Chimaev (11-0) against longtime fan favorite in Diaz (21-13).
Diaz (pictured) and his team apparently took offense to see Ghosn, a perceived ally, standing alongside Chimaev when things appeared to be dying down, according to Helwani
Chimaev, of Stockholm, Sweden, by way of Chechnya, has been on an incredible run in UFC, winning all five of his fights. The first four were sudden and authoritative finishes, and the fifth, at UFC 273, was a barnburner of a decision win over Gilbert Burns that will place high on the list for 2022 Fights of the Year.
Diaz, of Stockton, California, has been with UFC since 2007. And while he’s never held a title, he’s wildly popular for his willingness to take on all comers and engage in exciting fights, most memorably in a high-profile pair of bouts with Conor McGregor, during which each fighter won one apiece.
But Diaz has lost three of his past four and is entering the final fight of his UFC contract.
Earlier this week, while speaking to ESPN, Chimaev said he was ready to fight Diaz and his team before the main event.
Chimaev had to be restrained by his teammates after confronting Paulo Costa on Monday
‘If they wanna fight before (Saturday), f*** the money, brother, I’m gonna fight with them. I love to fight,’ he said.
‘I’ve been born for war. I’m inside a warrior, don’t care. When the fight comes, you don’t care about money or what’s behind it, just fight.’
The altercation at the press conference caps an eventful week for Chimaev ahead of the scheduled fight, after he had clashed with Paulo Costa at the UFC Performance Institute on Monday and had to be held back by his teammates.
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