A Russian fighter slapped his opponent at a weigh-in ceremony, and the UFC boss Dana White blames himself

Photo by MMA Weekly / YouTubeZelim Imadaev slapped Michel Pereira.
  • One fighter slapped another at a pre-fight weigh-in event in Las Vegas on Friday.
  • The UFC president Dana White, who was between the two athletes, is blaming himself for letting it happen.
  • At a post-event press conference, White said he is getting too old and reacted too late even though both guys were acting aggressively toward one another.
  • Zelim Imadaev and Michel Pereira fight for real at the UFC Vegas 9 event on Saturday.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A Russian fighter slapped his opponent at a weigh-in ceremony on Friday.

It all went down at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Up until that point, everything seemed like it was going to plan. Fighters had made weight and would face-off against one another for the customary stare-down ahead of the behind-closed-doors UFC Vegas 9 event on Saturday.

But then Zelim Imadaev and Michel Pereira stepped onto the dais and things took a spicy turn when Pereira appeared to feint a head-butt at Imadaev.

In response, Imadaev raised his left hand and struck Pereira around the face with an open-palm strike.

The UFC president Dana White then intervened, separating the welterweights, before security officials held back the fighters who continued making threatening gestures at one another.

Watch it here:

“I’m getting old,” White told the media at a post-event press conference. “I’m getting old, guys. That was a quick one. That was on me.

“They started getting aggressive going toward each other but I didn’t think it would escalate to that, that quickly. And I blew it.”

White said it would be up to the Nevada State Athletic Commission whether either or both fighters face sanctions.

“You’ll never meet more irritable human beings than these guys right now,” White said. “They’re all ready to fight. This is the fight game, man.

“This one’s on me. I shouldn’t have let that one happen.”

Pereira and Imadaev is one of five matches on the main card at the UFC Vegas 9 event.

Here are the other four fights:

  • Alistair Overeem vs Augusto Sakai — heavyweight
  • Ovince Saint Preux vs Alonzo Menifield — light heavyweight
  • Brian Kelleher vs Kevin Natividad — featherweight
  • Thiago Moises vs Jalin Turner — lightweight

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The UFC fighter who had 2 teeth punched out his mouth from an earlier loss is walking on crutches because of another defeat

A 22-year-old heavyweight called Daniel Dubois knocked his opponent down 4 times in 200 seconds, and is on the cusp of big-money bouts

Marlon Vera is moving on to a big, bantamweight match after kicking the UFC prospect Sean O’Malley so hard ‘he quit’

Jorge Masvidal has been challenged to an internet street-fight — the kind which made him a cult hero in the first place

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