Khabib Nurmagomedov has threatened to quit UFC in a stunning outburst aimed directly at the sport’s governing body.
Nurmagomedov retained his UFC lightweight belt on Saturday by forcing a fourth-round submission by challenger Conor McGregor.
But the undefeated Russian marred his convincing victory by jumping out of the cage immediately afterwards to confront McGregor’s support team and spark a mass brawl.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has withheld Nurmagomedov’s two million dollar fight purse during its investigation.
UFC president Dana White has hinted at banning Nurmagomedov’s team-mate, fellow Russian and UFC fighter Zubaira Tukhugov, for his part in the incident.
“Why do you have to punish my team, when both teams fought,” Nurmagomedov said in a statement posted on his Instagram account.
“If you say that I started it, then I do not agree, I finished what he had started.
“In any case, punish me, @zubairatukhugov 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.
“And one more thing, 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. We have defended our honor and this is the most important thing. We intend to go to the end.”
McGregor, meanwhile, has been suspended for one month on medical grounds after tapping out to Nurmagomedov due to a rear-naked choke.
Nurmagomedov said his actions immediately after his win were a result of McGregor’s provocation in the build-up to the fight, which included smashing the window of the Russian’s team bus, which injured several people.
In his Instagram statement, Nurmagomedov added: “Why didn’t you fire anyone when their team attacked the bus and injured a couple of people?
“They could have killed someone there, why no one says anything about insulting my homeland, religion, nation, family?”
Daniel Cormier will make the first defence of his UFC heavyweight title against Derrick Lewis on November 3 at Madison Square Garden.
Light-heavyweight champion Cormier defeated Stipe Miocic in July to add the heavyweight crown to his collection.
Cormier was expected to tackle Brock Lesnar next but has instead been matched with Lewis at UFC 230 in New York.
Lewis produced a stunning knockout of Alexander Volkov at UFC 229 at the weekend, stopping his Russian opponent within the final 20 seconds while almost certainly trailing on the scorecards.
Khabib Nurmagomedov will not be stripped of his UFC lightweight title despite his role in a post-match brawl Saturday, UFC president Dana White said in a website posting Tuesday.
The 30-year-old Russian kept his crown with a fourth-round submission victory over Conor McGregor in Las Vegas, improving to 27-0 in his professional career.
Nurmagomedov had barely released his hold after McGregor tapped out when he launched himself over the Octagon fence, apparently targeting McGregor’s training partner, Dillon Danis, as security tried to quell the chaos in the crowd.
Nurmagomedov was hustled out surrounded by security officers as a pro-McGregor crowd jeered and threw drinks at him.
While UFC president Dana White did not present Nurmagomedov the title belt, fearing arousing the crowd’s ire, he told TMZ in video posted on the UFC website that the Russian would not be stripped of the title and any punishment for the melee after UFC 229 would likely come from the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) and not UFC.
“He absolutely keeps his title,” White said. “And he’s going to get suspended (by the NAC), so maybe you give him a four-to-six month suspension.”
“(The NAC) took his whole purse right now and they are talking about keeping his purse. I do not think that that should happen,” White said. “You should not be able to keep his whole purse.”
White said he thought the NAC should take a $250,000 fine.