The UFC 279 pre-fight press conference was cancelled just moments after it started as Dana White pulled the plug on the event due to an alleged altercation between fighters backstage.
“S*** Show – Absolute S*** Show Back There,” White stated as soon as White stepped on the podium. “Ask them questions. There are many crazy things going on in the back yard .”
The press conference actually started with only two fighters on the dais as Kevin Holland and Daniel Rodriguez answered a few questions from the media rather than the six athletes who were originally scheduled to appear on Thursday.
Rumours circulated that the fighters had been involved in an altercation backstage between their camps and fighters. However, there are no specific details. Holland and Rodriguez were not the only main event fighters. Co-main eventers Tony Ferguson, Li Jingliang and Khamzat Chimiaev were also scheduled to be there.
One source speaking to MMA Fighting after the press conference was cancelled stated “chaos happened,” but there’s no word on which fighters or camps were involved in the incident.
Following Holland and Rodriguez facing off and leaving the stage, White spoke to members of his public relations staff along with security before deciding to end the press conference almost as quickly as it began.
” This isn’t going to be happening,” White told a disillusioned crowd. “I apologize everybody. I am in very weird waters here. This has never happened in the history of this company.
“Trust me when I tell you this is the right decision not to do this press conference right now. For everybody’s safety, this is the right decision. I apologize. Thank you .”
With that, the UFC 279 pre-fight press conference ended with fans booing loudly as they started to filter out of the MGM Grand Garden Arena.