Dana White outlines punishment Khabib Nurmagomedov should receive for UFC 229 melee
Dana White wants to see Khabib Nurmagomedov keep his title.
White had initially hinted at stripping Nurmagomedov of his lightweight belt if the Russian was hit with a lengthy suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his role in the UFC 229 melee but he seems to have changed his tune.
After the unseemly scenes which marred the biggest fight in his organisation's history, the UFC president discussed the worst case scenarios and even mentioned the possibility of Nurmagomedov being denied a visa to fight in the United States again.
It sounds like White has since relaxed his opinion on the punishment that should be issued to Nurmagomedov, whose disclosed purse of $2 million has been withheld by the NSAC.
"They took his whole purse right now and they’re talking about keeping his purse – I do not think that that should happen," White told TMZ Sports. "You should not be able to keep his whole purse."
Conor McGregor was given his cheque for $3 million by the commission on Saturday night but after reviewing more in-depth footage of the incident, the NSAC intends to file complaints against the Irishman too and hit both men involved in the UFC 229 main event with temporary suspensions ahead of a November hearing.
It remains to be seen what measures the commission will take against McGregor and Nurmagomedov but White has an idea of what should happen with the latter.
"I think they should take ($250,000) from him," White said. "(He) absolutely keeps his title. And he’s going to get suspended, so maybe you give him a four to six months suspension."
Nurmagomedov apologised to the NSAC in his post-fight press conference but explained his actions by claiming that his behaviour paled in comparison to the danger that McGregor put people in with the Brooklyn bus attack in April.
"It’s different circumstances, you guys – this wasn’t at an event," White said. "This was in the bowels of the Barclays Center, it was a completely different situation. (McGregor) was dealing with the state of New York and the police. In this thing, (Nurmagomedov) was part of something that was regulated by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
"He was at an event with more people that have ever been at an event for a UFC event in Vegas. There were tons of fans there. It’s a much different situation."