Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)

Khabib Nurmagomedov threatens to quit UFC if teammate Zubaira Tukhugov is fired for punching Conor McGregor

Lightweight champion writes explosive message to UFC saying he will break his contract if teammate involved in Conor McGregor melee is cut from roster

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 October, 2018, 11:23pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2018, 9:08am

Khabib Nurmagomedov has threatened to quit the UFC if the company fires one of his teammates who was involved in last weekend’s post-fight fracas in Las Vegas.

The undefeated lightweight champion, who improved his MMA record to 27-0 when he submitted Conor McGregor at the T-Mobile Arena, told the UFC to tear up his contract if they cut featherweight Zubaira Tukhugov from their roster.

“I would like to address @UFC. Why didn’t you fire anyone when their team attacked the bus and injured a couple of people?” he wrote on Instagram, referring to the April incident at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York, when McGregor threw a dolley at the window of a bus carrying Nurmagomedov and other fighters before UFC 223.

“They could have killed someone there, why no one says anything about insulting my homeland, religion, nation, family?” asked the native of the Russian republic of Dagestan.

“Why do you have to punish my team, when both teams fought. If you say that I started it, then I do not agree, I finished what he had started.

“In any case, punish me, @zubairatukhugov has nothing to do with that.”

UFC president Dana White confirmed that the organisation has already scrapped Tukhugov’s co-main event bout against McGregor’s teammate Artem Lobov on October 28 in UFC Fight Night 138.

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McGregor’s attack on the UFC bus in April stemmed from Nurmagomedov and his team surrounding and intimidating Lobov earlier that weekend. The Irishman flew to New York to confront the Russian before being arrested.

“If you think that I’ll keep silent then you are mistaken. You cancelled Zubaira’s fight and you want to dismiss him just because he hit Conor,” Nurmagomedov continued.

“But don’t forget that it was Conor who had hit my another Brother FIRST, just check the video.

“If you decide to fire him, you should know that you’ll lose me too. We never give up on our brothers in Russia and I will go to the end for my Brother.

“If you still decide to fire him, don’t forget to send me my broken contract, otherwise I’ll break it myself.

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“And one more thing, you can keep my money that you are withholding. You are pretty busy with that, I hope it won’t get stuck in your throat.

“We have defended our honour and this is the most important thing. We intend to go to the end. #Brothers.”

The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) decided to withhold Nurmagomedov’s US$2 million purse after the post-fight brawl, where the Russian jumped into the crowd to attack McGregor’s jiu-jitsu coach Dillon Danis.

McGregor received his US$3 million purse but could still face punishment from NSAC, which is reviewing fan footage, for his role in the melee.

Tukhugov can be seen on footage climbing into the Octagon and sucker punching “The Notorious” from behind. Three of Nurmagomedov’s team were arrested but later released because McGregor refused to press charges.

“I slapped him as promised. I promised to make him answer for his words and I did,” Tukhogov said in a social media post, according to a translation by Bloody Elbow.