UFC President Dana White was forced to cancel Thursday's press conference moments before it started due to a

Dana White CANCEL UFC 279 press conference after fighters ‘ignite backstage melee’

UFC President Dana White was forced to cancel Thursday’s press conference minutes after it began due to an “absolute shit show” backstage involving a physical altercation between several fighters and their respective fields.

“S*** show – absolute s*** show there,” White told media gathered in Las Vegas. ‘Ask them questions. There’s a lot of crazy bullshit going on there.

The media session was scheduled ahead of Saturday’s UFC 279, which is headlined by a welterweight bout between Khamzat Chimaev and former UFC lightweight championship challenger Nate Diaz.

As White later told reporters off-camera, an altercation ensued between Kevin Holland, who fights on the undercard, and Chimaev. However, the skirmish did not end there. According to multiple reports, other athletes and their respective camps also became entangled in the fight.

No injuries were reported, but punches, kicks — and even objects — were thrown, according to longtime MMA reporter Ariel Helwani.

UFC President Dana White was forced to cancel Thursday’s press conference moments before its start due to an “absolute shit show” backstage involving a physical altercation between several fighters and their respective fields.

Rising star Khamzat Chimaev (pictured) is set to fight Nate Diaz at UFC 279 on Saturday but was reportedly drawn into a skirmish with Kevin Holland ahead of Thursday's press conference

Rising star Khamzat Chimaev (pictured) is set to fight Nate Diaz at UFC 279 on Saturday but was reportedly drawn into a skirmish with Kevin Holland ahead of Thursday’s press conference

Kevin Holland is seen on stage during the UFC 279 press conference at the MGM Grand Arena

Kevin Holland is seen on stage during the UFC 279 press conference at the MGM Grand Arena

Holland actually appeared on the stage alongside another of Saturday’s fighters, Daniel Rodriguez, before White returned to the stage and canceled the proceedings.

“It’s not going to happen,” White told the crowd. ‘I apologize everyone. I’m in very weird waters here. This has never happened in the history of this company.

“Trust me when I tell you it’s the right decision not to do this press conference right now.” For everyone’s safety, this is the right decision. I apologize. Thanks for coming.’

Helwani posted a video on Twitter afterwards, explaining the incident.

“They started to exchange a few words,” Helwani said of Holland and Chimaev’s respective teams. “They got closer to each other and were kind of pushing each other and so on. No real physical activity in terms of kicking, punching. But there was definitely some physics, if you will.

Helwani said former UFC fighter-turned-manager Tiki Ghosn called a halt to the fight, adding that there wasn’t enough security for everyone backstage at the time.

But things didn’t stop there.

“Then Nate and his team show up as the whole thing between Holland and Chimaev dies down,” Helwani continued.

Diaz’s team was apparently offended to see Ghosn, a perceived ally, standing by Chimaev when things seemed to die down, according to Helwani.

“Words being exchanged, things being exchanged back and forth, then suddenly water bottles are thrown back and forth,” Helwani added. “Then everything spirals out of control.

White also noted that there was a lack of security behind the scenes, which the UFC will need to address in the future.

Saturday’s event remains scheduled for T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Holland (left) actually appeared on the dais alongside another of Saturday's fighters, Daniel Rodriguez (right), before White appeared onstage and called off proceedings.

Holland (left) actually appeared on the dais alongside another of Saturday’s fighters, Daniel Rodriguez (right), before White appeared onstage and called off proceedings.

Nate Diaz' ​​(pictured) and his team apparently took offense to seeing perceived ally Ghosn standing by Chimaev as things seemed to die down, according to Helwani

Nate Diaz’ ​​(pictured) and his team apparently took offense to seeing perceived ally Ghosn standing by Chimaev as things seemed to die down, according to Helwani

The welterweight matchup features a rising superstar in Chimaev (11-0) against longtime fan favorite in Diaz (21-13).

Chimaev, from Stockholm, Sweden to Chechnya, has had an incredible run in the UFC, winning all five of his fights. The first four were sudden, authoritative finishes, and the fifth, at UFC 273, was a barn burner of a decision win over Gilbert Burns that will top the fight of the year list. 2022.

Diaz, from Stockton, Calif., has been with the UFC since 2007. And while he’s never held a title, he’s hugely popular for his willingness to take on all comers and commit to fights. exciting, most memorable in a pair of high-profile fights with Conor McGregor, in which each fighter won one apiece.

But Diaz has lost three of his last four and is entering the final bout of his UFC contract.

After months of haggling with the UFC over a potential foe, Diaz accepted Chimaev’s challenge.

“What they made me do right now is they act like I called for this fight, which I didn’t call, and I don’t want to, and I didn’t want to not, and I still don’t want to, but I don’t give a (expletive),’ Diaz told ESPN. “I’ll fight anyone.”

During a media day on Wednesday, Chimaev, in a nod to the rancor between his opponent and the promotion, said he hoped Diaz would bring the style of fighting he’s long been known for, regardless of circumstances.

“I hope he can survive five rounds,” Chimaev said. ‘It’s good for him. Show his heart and walk away from the UFC as a warrior. If I beat him in the first round, everyone’s going to say the guy’s too old and “Uncle Diaz is going to have to go home.”

Thursday’s incident was not the UFC’s first press conference.

In 2018, following a press conference at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for UFC 223, MMA legend Conor McGregor and around 20 comrades attacked rivals Khabib Nurmagomedov, Rose Namajunas, Al Iaquinta, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Ray Borg and Michael Chiesa leaving the arena on a bus.

Security footage showed McGregor approaching the bus as it headed for the truck lifts to exit the building. At one point, he can be seen running towards a cart before picking it up and throwing it at the moving vehicle, smashing a window through which the passengers can be seen.

“About 20 guys were apparently let in by the guys from Mac Life, who were accredited here,” White explained, referring to the McGregor brand and its employees who allegedly helped the Dublin native and his team get into Barclays. Center.

“They opened the doors for them, through an entrance, they stormed the building, went down to the loading docks where the fighters were boarding the buses and started attacking the buses, throwing trash cans and carts and things like that,” White continued. “I broke one of the windows and injured Michael Chiesa. He cut off his head and cut off his face.

‘[UFC fighter] Rose Namajunas apparently almost got hit. She’s super upset right now… Injured one of our employees, broke one of our employees’ joints.

A warrant was eventually issued for McGregor, who turned himself in to New York City police. He later did not contest one count of disorderly conduct and was ordered to perform five days of community service.

A warrant was eventually issued for McGregor, who turned himself in to New York City police.  He later did not contest a disorderly conduct charge and was ordered to perform five days of community service.

A warrant was eventually issued for McGregor, who turned himself in to New York City police. He later did not contest a disorderly conduct charge and was ordered to perform five days of community service.

Dana White CANCEL UFC 279 press conference after fighters ‘ignite backstage melee’

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