LOS ANGELES,. Mixed martial arts stars Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor will remain suspended pending full investigation of the melee following UFC 229, Nevada combat sports regulators said yesterday.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimously on the suspensions, with chairman Anthony Marnell ordering both fighters to be present at a December 10 hearing.
Russia’s Nurmagomedov and Ireland’s McGregor had already been suspended for 10 days ? the maximum term fighters can be banned pending a hearing.
The sanctions stem from the extraordinary post-fight brawl that erupted after unbeaten Nurmagomedov choked out McGregor on October 6 in Las Vegas.
Nurmagomedov had barely released his hold after McGregor tapped out when the Russian launched himself over the Octagon fence, targeting a taunting member of McGregor’s camp.
The five-member board also voted to release half of Nurmagomedov’s US$2 million (RM8.33 million) purse, which had been withheld immediately after the fight.
Marnell said he believed that retaining US$1 million would allow Nurmagomedov to meet his expenses but still be “enough money to keep this contestant’s interest in this hearing”.
Marnell also said that he would have withheld McGregor’s US$3 million purse if he had seen video that showed McGregor’s role in fuelling the brawl.
The first video to emerge appeared to show the Irish star being taken by surprise by three of Nurmagomedov’s teammates coming after him inside the Octagon.
Once the probe is complete, the commission has the power to issue lifetime bans, although such a punishment is considered unlikely. ? AFP