Dana White Reacts to Khabib’s Threat to Leave UFC

All is well now between Khabib Nurmagomedov and the Ultimate Fighting Championship, at least for its chief executive Dana White. 

The UFC president finally broke his silence about the Russian champ’s ultimatum to leave the company if it does not allow his teammate Zubaira Tukhugov to compete in the Octagon. White claimed that the toss-up is a thing of the past now and that the promotion is now in good terms with Nurmagomedov.

‘You’ll Lose Me Too’

Khabib’s nasty fourth-round submission of Conor McGregor at UFC 229 main event was one of the greatest moments in his career. However, the celebration became short-lived as a chaotic post-fight melee overshadowed the win.

The promotion chief has decided to cut Khabib’s teammate Tukhugov from the roster after he attacked the Irish star in the cage last Saturday. Tukhugov is set to lock horns with McGregor’s teammate Artem Lobov later this month but will no longer see action in the bout after his involvement in the incident.

Meanwhile, the Nevada State Athletic Commission withheld Nurmagomedov’s $2 million paycheck and his manager’s, Ali Abdelaziz, 10 per cent cut until the investigation into the brawl is completed.

Both decisions did not sit well for the undefeated champ as he unleashed his fury to the promotion and the commission in a lengthy Instagram post last Friday.

“Why do you have to punish my team, when both teams fought. If you say that I started it, then I do not agree, I finished what he had started. In any case, punish me, [Tukhugov] has nothing to do with that.

“If you think that I’ll keep silent then you are mistaken. You cancelled Zubaira’s fight and you want to dismiss him just because he hit Conor. But don’t forget that it was Conor who had hit my another Brother FIRST, just check the video.

“If you decide to fire him, you should know that you’ll lose me too. We never give up on our brothers in Russia and I will go to the end for my Brother. If you still decide to fire him, don’t forget to send me my broken contract, otherwise, I’ll break it myself.”

He also told NSAC:

“You can keep my money that you are withholding. You are pretty busy with that, I hope it won’t get stuck in your throat.”

Burying the Hatchet 

On Tuesday, the UFC president spoke with TMZ to clarify the issue.  He stressed that both camps have already buried the hatchet, but he did not mention if Tukhugov will stay in the roster.

“We’re good. We’re good with Khabib. You guys are still posting that sh*t. That was a week ago. That was a week ago. A lot happens in a week in this business. We’re good. We worked it out. We’re gonna get everything worked out. Obviously, he was a little upset, he was a little fired up. We’ll get it all worked out.”

He also said that the rant was just pure emotion and insisted that the UFC maintains a good relationship with the undefeated champion.

“Guys get very emotional, man. And that was a very emotional fight for him, obviously. At the end of the day, Khabib is a great guy, and we’ve always had a great relationship with him. It’s all good, brother.”

Asked about what’s next for ‘The Eagle,’ whether a rematch with Conor or a fight with Tony Ferguson, White said they haven’t talked about it yet and that the promotion now focuses on other fights.

“The fight just ended, and we’re still dealing with commission issues. Now we’re working on other fights until we figure that one out.”

Watch the full interview in the video below:

The promotion will bring the actions at the Madison Square Garden in New York this November for the UFC 230, with fan favourite Derrick Lewis taking on the double champion Daniel Cormier in the main event for the heavyweight belt.

(Featured Image Source: ESPN/YouTube and UFC/YouTube)

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