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January 23, 2019

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Nevada commission to wait until December for ruling on Nurmagomedov, McGregor


Steve Marcus

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia leaves a post-fight news conference during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018.

The Nevada Athletic Commission decided this morning to continue the temporary suspensions for UFC fighters Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov for their actions following UFC 229 until the commission’s official investigation concludes.

The commission also released $1 million of Nurmagomedov’s $2 million purse after placing a hold on it after the event, where Nurmagomedov jumped out of the Octagon after defeating McGregor and started a melee with McGregor’s camp.

In December, the commission will present their final report on the investigation and make their suspension decisions.

The commission will require both McGregor and Nurmagomedov appear at the December meeting in person when the final punishments are levied. A maximum punishment of a lifetime ban is possible for Nurmagomedov for his actions, according to the commission.

The contention began far before the Oct. 6 fight at T-Mobile Arena after McGregor attacked a bus Nurmagomedov and his camp were on during a promotion event in New York. McGregor tossed a hand truck at the bus, shattering its window, with shards of glass injuring an occupant.

McGregor pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct, was sentenced to community service and ordered to undergo an anger management program.

After submitting McGregor in the fourth round of their five-round main event bout, Nurmagomedov climbed out of the Octagon at T-Mobile Arena and proceeded to attack one of McGregor’s coaches who was ringside four the bout.

McGregor tried to exit the cage to join in the melee, but was held back by security personnel. Three people from Nurmagomedov’s camp then entered the ring and attacked McGregor. The three individuals were detained by Metro Police but were later released after McGregor declined to file charges against them.

Both fighters’ checks were withheld following the fight, with McGregor’s $3 million fight purse being released to him after initial review of tape.

The commission stated if they had reviewed video footage that was later made available to them featuring McGregor’s actions, which wasn’t immediately available on fight night when they released his funds, that they would have held his purse until at least Wednesday’s meeting, like that of Nurmagomedov.

Michael Mersch, McGregor’s legal counsel, said he is concerned that the commission could move to fine and further suspend and possibly fine his client past the December meeting, as he is eager to move to his next fight sometime next year.

“I think hopefully the commission will look at the bigger picture and I hope the punishment will fit the proverbial crime,” Mersch said. “But nor having seen the tapes that they’re referring to I’m a little in the dark to be able to respond to that.”