NAC to open investigation on UFC 279 presser melee, could hand out disciplinary action

The Nevada Athletic Commission has opened an investigation in regards to the UFC 279 presser melee, this could result in a penalize for those involved in the incident, the regulator announced Monday.

“If the Nevada Athletic Commission determines that licensees acted improperly, we will initiate appropriate disciplinary action against all involved,” NAC Chairman Stephen Cloobeck wrote in a prepared statement.

Cloobeck 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 competitive athletes is common, any escalation into physical altercations may discredit the sport of unarmed combat and is wholly unacceptable,” the NAC chairman wrote. “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 strictly discipline all licensees for all incidents of physical violence between athletes outside the ring or cage, up to and including purse forfeiture, revocation or suspension of any current license, denial of applications for new applicants, or denying future license renewals.

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

The statement arrives four days after the cancellation of the media event following a backstage incident involving UFC 279 headliners Khamzat Chimaev, Kevin Holland, Nate Diaz and several members of their camps.

UFC President Dana White indicated something had happened before the start of the presser and later called it off when he said the environment was no longer safe.

White later confirmed an encounter between Chimaev and Holland was the catalyst for the melee.

The NAC previously has sanctioned those involved in press conference melees; its statutes also allow for disciplinary action against those who deemed to have discredited unarmed combat.

In 2014, it fined and ordered community service for Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier after they brawled at a media event for their scheduled UFC 178 meeting.

The commission handed down fines and suspensions to all those involved in the infamous post-fight melee between Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor and their respective teams at UFC 229.

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