The chaos in Las Vegas saw the UFC president cancel a press conference moments after it started.
On Thursday night, a backstage altercation between fighters forced the boss’s hand, with White’s announcement accompanied by boos from gathered fans who were there ahead of UFC 279 on Saturday night.
The media session, held to promote the event, was initially delayed for 30 minutes before White appeared to tell the assembled press and fans that he would be taking the fighters out in pairs, explaining that it was a real “s*** show”. there, nodding backstage.
First out were Kevin Holland and Daniel Rodriguez to answer a few questions before being released, with Holland reiterating his boss’ comments when asked about what was going on.
As they left the stage, staff whispered to White detailing the situation and the unprecedented decision was made to drop the proceedings.
“It’s not going to happen,” White told a disappointed crowd. “I apologize, everyone. I’m in very weird waters here. This has never happened in the history of this company.
“Believe me when I tell you it’s the right decision not to do this press conference right now. For everyone’s safety, it’s the right decision. I apologize. Thank you for coming .”
It was later reported that Holland and Khamzat Chimaev, who was fighting in the main event against Nate Diaz, had been involved in a meltdown.
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It was initially reported that Chimaev’s push kicked Holland in the chest, although the latter appeared to deny it, tweeting that he had offered to cut the beard of Chimaev, a Muslim. “Just so everyone knows. I gave this clown a free beard trim,” he said.
“I don’t know of any place in the United States that would offer this service for free! I’m specific, I promise not to nick it. At your service, just like the hotel staff, my brother.
Darren Till, a friend and teammate of Chimaev was then seen in a verbal altercation with Holland.
White, although admitting it all started between the pair and then escalated, with multiple skirmishes and not enough security contributing to the decision to call off. He felt that due to the number of people involved in the altercations, he feared they would break out on stage, hence the decision made for everyone’s safety.
He did not, however, elaborate on the reports and simply said it would not happen again.
“For 22 years, as long as I’ve been doing this, we’ve never had an incident like today. All hell broke loose here. We stopped it, but we didn’t do well not to let it happen.
“I don’t know what happened here. This has never happened before. We will be ready for next time. … It was crazy. It was completely crazy here.
White, 53, said it would not affect Saturday’s card as no one was injured.
The main event is exciting for fans as it sees fan favorite Diaz in his final fight for the company against rising star Chimaev.