Arum: UFC 229 Brawl Not Dana’s Fault

It’s no secret that Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and UFC President Dana White don’t like each other, and things have not gotten better over the years. And yet, to the surprise of some, Arum says White isn’t to blame for the massive brawl that took place following UFC 229.

At the end of the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor title fight, Nurmagomedov jumped over the Octagon and attacked McGregor’s team, irked by words Bellator fighter Dillon Danis was shouting at him. Meanwhile, McGregor went at it with members of Nurmagomedov’s team and was sucker-punched from behind.

Arum defended White’s decision to make the April bus attack that saw McGregor throw a hand dolly through a bus window as part of the promotion, stating White was trying to do a promoter’s job. To Arum, the fault for the brawl lies at the feet of the fighters, particularly Nurmagomedov.

“I think that was disgraceful,” Arum told BoxingScene. “That was really, really bad. But I, for one, don’t blame Dana. I mean, he was trying to stir up stuff, you know, words and so forth, which I think is OK to help the pay-per-view. Nothing wrong with that. He should’ve taken steps to prevent the melee from happening, but ultimately, it’s on this Khabib. What he did was inexcusable and the commission has to deal with that.

So, you know, you can’t blame the promoter. Here, for example, if there were an incident, which I believe there won’t be because I’ve taken steps, hopefully, to prevent that from happening, it’s not my fault. It’s their fault.

Arum and Top Rank, coincidentally enough, are putting on a fight on Oct. 13 that sees a champion and challenger who have no respect for each other either. Undefeated WBO Welterweight Champion Terence Crawford will defend his title against Jose Benavidez Jr. And Arum says he has taken extra precautions to ensure nothing happens before fight time – including putting both camps at different hotels and giving both men a verbal warning before their final press face-off.

“I’m in favor of all of that stuff that really hypes a fight, as long as it’s verbal,” Arum said. “I didn’t want anybody to take the position that we were exasperating the situation to create an incident, in order to get more viewers, to sell more tickets. I don’t wanna do that. I think that this back and forth that [Crawford and Benavidez] have had is normal and I think that’s OK. But I told them when they got up to pose together, ‘No f***ing around. First guy who throws a punch ain’t getting paid.'”

“I’m in favor of all of that stuff that really hypes a fight, as long as it’s verbal,” Arum said. “I didn’t want anybody to take the position that we were exasperating the situation to create an incident, in order to get more viewers, to sell more tickets. I don’t wanna do that.

I think that this back and forth that [Crawford and Benavidez] have had is normal and I think that’s OK. But I told them when they got up to pose together, ‘No f*cking around. First guy who throws a punch ain’t getting paid.’

Original Story: Boxing Scene

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