As expected, Conor McGregor’s punishment for his role in the UFC 229 post-fight brawl was not as severe as Khabib Nurmagomedov’s.
While Khabib received a $500,000 fine and a nine-month suspension — it can be reduced to six months if he does an anti-bullying PSA — McGregor’s settlement with the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) is a $50,000 fine and just six months. In other words, as long as Khabib does his PSA, they’ll both get the same ban retroactive to the night of October 6th, making them eligible to return to competition on April 6th. The only difference is Khabib’s fine is ten times higher than McGregor’s.
Nurmagomedov, of course, got the melee started when he leaped out of the cage and went after Dillon Danis, McGregor’s friend and training partner. Afterwards, Khabib’s teammates, including UFC fighter Zubaira Tukhugov, went after McGregor in the cage, and those two sides briefly traded punches. Evidently he wouldn’t have faced any repercussions had he not thrown any strikes.
Tukhugov and Abubakar Nurmagomedov were both suspended one-year and fined $25,000 at Tuesday’s hearing.
If you’re expecting McGregor to fight in April, which includes UFC 236 on the 13th, then don’t get too excited. Ariel Helwani reports that McGregor is targeted to return in the late spring/summer.
Oh yes, and the Nevada Athletic Commission is very aware of the heated back-and-forth verbal exchanges between McGregor and Khabib throughout the lead-up to their UFC 229 fight, which Khabib won by submission. In fact, fighters really better watch what they say in Nevada starting right now!
The commission is saying they need to take an active role in holding fighters accountable for their language and conduct at press conferences. They don’t seem happy with the dialogue from McGregor leading up to the fight. Chairman Marnell called it “embarrassing."— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 29, 2019
Marnell: The fighters are on notice (re: their pre-fight talk).— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 29, 2019
Marnell: We are going to start fining and suspending for what you say as opposed to what you do.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 29, 2019