NAC investigating UFC 279 presser melee, threatens disciplinary action


The Nevada Athletic Commission has announced that it is looking into the UFC 279 presser scuffle and may penalize anyone involved.

” If the Nevada Athletic Commission finds that licensors have acted in an improper manner, we will take appropriate disciplinary actions against everyone involved,” NAC Chairman Stephen Kloobeck stated in a prepared statement.

Kloobeck said those found to have acted improperly face purse forfeiture, revocation or suspension of their current Nevada fight license, denial of applications for new applicants or denial of a future license.

” Although trash talking between competitors is very common, any escalated physical altercations could discredit unarmed combat sport and be wholly unacceptable,” said the chairman of the NAC. Further, participants could be exposed to civil or criminal liability for such conduct. The Nevada Athletic Commission will act strongly and decisively to safeguard and elevate unarmed combat in Nevada.”

The statement comes four days after UFC announced the cancellation of its media event due to a backstage incident that involved UFC headliner Khamzat Chimiev, Kevin Holland and Nate Diaz, as well as several other members of their camps. Dana White, the UFC president, was flustered and indicated that something had occurred before the media event. He later called off the event when he stated the atmosphere wasn’t safe anymore. He later confirmed an encounter between Chimaev and Holland was the catalyst for the melee.

Several reports, including one from MMA Fighting, claimed that the initial incident spread to Diaz (and his team) who allegedly threw water bottle at Chimaev (his opponent in UFC ‘s headliner). Until the day of the pay-per-view event on Saturday, however, there was little footage that had surfaced to illuminate what exactly happened. Next, the UFC released a video showing Chimaev punching Holland. Chimaev’s trainer stated on social media that Holland was “a boot in his chest”.

After Chimaev missed weight by 7. 5 pounds to headline his show with Diaz. He was then rebooked for Holland, where he won the co-headliner via first round submission. Diaz went on to face Tony Ferguson and earned a fourth-round submission win.

White stated that the UFC would provide greater security for future fights to prevent confrontations between fighters. He said that the crisis at the press conference was caused by the fact they operated with a “skeleton team .”


The NAC has previously sanctioned press conference melees. Its statutes allow it to take disciplinary action against anyone who is deemed to discredit unarmed combat. After Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier fought at the media event of their UFC 178 meeting, 2014, ordered them to do community service. All those who were involved in the post-fight brawl between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor, and their respective UFC teams received suspensions and fines from this commission.

Below is the full statement of the commission.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission Chairman Stephen J. Cloobeck and Jeff Mullen, Executive Director, are aware of the UFC Press Conference that was held on Thursday, September 2022,. The event was canceled mid-way through. Initial reports suggest that there was an altercation between licensed fighters, their friends and the media conference.

The Chairman was in communication with UFC executives about the September 8th events. At this time, the UFC is working with the Nevada Athletic Commission on a full investigation into this incident. If the Nevada Athletic Commission determines that licensees acted improperly, we will initiate appropriate disciplinary action against all involved.

Although “trash talking” between competitive athletes is common, any escalation into physical altercations may discredit the sport of unarmed combat and is wholly unacceptable. Further, such behavior may expose participants to both civil and criminal liability. The Nevada Athletic Commission will act strongly and decisively to safeguard and elevate unarmed combat in Nevada.

The Nevada Athletic Commission will discipline licensees who engage in physical violence outside of the cage or ring. This includes purse forfeiture and revocation of licenses, suspension or suspension of current licenses, refusal of new applications or denial of future renewals.

We expect professional fighters in Nevada to comport themselves as professionals.