- Khabib Nurmagomedov has said he intends to no-show what could be the most important UFC meeting of his career going forward.
- The Russian wrestler has been ordered to attend a Nevada State Athletic Commission disciplinary hearing on December 10.
- At the meeting he is expected find out whether he will be punished for the events that transpired after UFC 229.
- The commission explicitly said failure to attend the meeting would have dire consequences, including a ban from fighting in Las Vegas – but Nurmagomedov has said he does not intend to show up.
Khabib Nurmagomedov has been ordered to attend a disciplinary hearing in Las Vegas on December 10, but it is a meeting he says he plans to skip.
The Russian wrestler was in fine form in his UFC 229 lightweight championship fight against Conor McGregor on October 6.
Nurmagomedov dominated McGregor, dropping the Irish striker to the floor with a thudding right hand in the second round and submitting him for good in the fourth.
But rather than celebrate the greatest victory of his career in mixed martial arts, Nurmagomedov mounted the octagon, jumped over the fence, and was seen on video charging at McGregor’s cage-side friend Dillon Danis.
While that was going on, brawls erupted in the octagon itself as members of Nurmagomedov’s team were seen attacking McGregor.
This prompted the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the regulatory body for all combat sport events in the state, to investigate the incident, and it has instructed Nurmagomedov and McGregor to return to Nevada so they can learn, in person, whether punishments will be given out.
But Nurmagomedov apparently has no intention of attending. “The Nevada State Athletic Commission convened because of what happened after the McGregor match,” Nurmagomedov told beIN Sports, according to The Mirror and Mail Online. “On December 10 they will meet again and call me but I’m not going, I’m not guilty.”
Speaking at the press conference that followed UFC 229 last month, Nurmagomedov gave a speech in which he apologised to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. He seemed to justify the brawl by reiterating the chain of events leading up to UFC 229, including McGregor’s attack in April on a UFC team bus that Nurmagomedov was on and McGregor’s antics in the immediate buildup to UFC 229.
Nurmagomedov said that McGregor talked about Nurmagomedov’s religion, country, and father. He then said he was perplexed at how the postfight conversation was focusing on his jumping over the cage rather than on McGregor’s negative comments before the event.
“I started the fight and I finished as a man,” Nurmagomedov reportedly told beIN Sports this week. “They will punish the initiator, I won the fight in the rules. After the fight I showed him that what he did before the fight would not be unrequited.”
A no-show would surely cost Nurmagomedov
The Nevada commission has said it will punish Nurmagomedov heavily if he fails to attend the December 10 hearing.
Just last week, Nurmagomedov and McGregor were issued stark ultimatums that could tank their careers – the commission said failure to show up at the December meeting would bar them from ever being allowed to fight in Las Vegas again.
Only two of the 20 best-selling pay-per-view events in combat-sports history were booked outside the city, meaning that 90% of the world’s biggest fights happen in Las Vegas.
One of those fights involved Nurmagomedov, as his UFC 229 bout against McGregor reportedly attracted 2.4 million PPV purchases, tying it for the third-biggest fight of all time.
But if Las Vegas is no longer on Nurmagomedov’s map, it would have severe ramifications to his status as a marketable fighter, perhaps putting those big fights out of reach.