In a Twitter video, MMA journalist Ariel Helwani accounts for what happened backstage between Khamzat Chimaev, Kevin Holland and Nate Diaz at the UFC 279 press conference.
“There is Khamzat Chimaev and his team, and there is Kevin Holland and his team,” Helwani said on Twitter. “They started to exchange some words and they got very close to each other and were kind of pushing each other and what not. No real physical activity so to speak in terms of serious kicks and punches landed.”
According to Helwani, the altercation then got broken up by former MMA fighter, now manager, Tiki Ghosn.
“Then Nate and his team show up. As the whole thing between Holland and Chimaev dies down, they see Tiki standing next to Chimaev. Nate and his team goes a long way with Tiki, and are kind of confused about that, unhappy about that. Words exchanged, things exchanged back and forth, and all of a sudden water bottles are being thrown, and I guess there were some people being upset about were Tiki was standing and the things that were being said back and forth. So then the whole thing gets out of hand, water bottles being thrown. I believe Tiki got hit by a bottle or two but not seriously hurt. Then once that kind of escalated everyone was finally pulled apart and they decided to cancel the press conference,” Helwani said.
Here’s the full story regarding why the UFC 279 press conference was canceled before it started. pic.twitter.com/adIIQfKFXW
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) September 9, 2022
Khamzat issued first statement after brawl
Khamzat Chimaev issued his first statement following the alleged backstage altercation ahead of the UFC 279 press conference. The statement was posted to his Instagram story and later transcribed to English by Spinnin Backfist.
“Told them not to play with us, Kevin got what he deserved, so did Diaz.” (Transcription via Spinnin Backfist)
“Told them not to play with us, Kevin got what he deserved, so did Diaz.”
KHAMZAT COMING WITH THAT HEATpic.twitter.com/vNtb3UcUGh
— Spinnin Backfist (@SpinninBackfist) September 9, 2022
Just so everyone knows. I offered that clown a free beard trim. I don’t know anywhere in the US that would offer that service free! I am precise I promise I would not knick him. At your service just like the hotel staff bro. https://t.co/Hiwwm40fg7
— Kevin Holland (@Trailblaze2top) September 9, 2022
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