The storyline of UFC 229’s main event between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor was built around the real-life friction between both fighters, which reached a tipping point at UFC 223.
Following an incident where Nurmagomedov attempted to “punk out” McGregor’s teammate, Artem Lobov, McGregor flew to New York with a dozen associates and would end up finding Nurmagomedov on a UFC team bus and threw a hand truck through the window.
UFC President Dana White had no qualms utilizing the footage in promos for the UFC 229 lightweight title fight, and while on the Australian news show “The Project”, White would end up in a sparring match with host Waleed Aly.
“I don’t know if there have been any real punishments handed to those guys,” Aly told White. “Let’s just be totally honest, let’s be real. You love this stuff, and it’s great for promotion, right?”
Aly would ask the UFC President why the organization never punished either fighter for the brawl that followed UFC 229, but White would argue with the host that the Nevada Athletic Commission has already suspended and has levied punishments against both McGregor and Nurmagomedov.
“I think for anybody who would think that that was set up, that we would take our biggest star, get him arrested and get him kicked out of the state of New York — the guy can’t fight in the state of New York any more, which is the biggest gate we ever did with Conor McGregor, which was $18 million,” White explained.
“To even say something like that, you’re completely uneducated about the sport and you’re just trying to be an a–hole.”