The press conference for UFC 279 in Las Vegas was called off Thursday after fighters Kevin Holland and Khamzat Chimaev got into a scuffle backstage, UFC president Dana White announced to the media in attendance.
Holland and Chimaev aren’t even scheduled to fight one another, as Chimaev (11-0) is set to take on Nate Diaz (21-13) in the main card. Holland (23-7) will face off against Daniel Rodriguez (16-2).
“Yeah, this ain’t going to happen,” White told reporters after Holland and Chimaev exchanged words and got into a physical altercation. “I apologize, everybody … This has never happened in the history of this company. Let me tell you this is the right decision not to do this press conference right now.”
“Yeah, I hear you,” he continued as boos rained down from those in attendance. “I’m with you. But for everybody’s safety, this is the right decision. I apologize.”
The UFC posted White’s initial comments to Twitter.
That's a wrap from the #UFC279 Presser ??
See you tomorrow for weigh-ins! pic.twitter.com/mxf9f9L5hJ
— UFC (@ufc) September 8, 2022
White indicated later on that more security will now become standard at press conferences, and that the UFC will be prepared to intercept further confrontation at weigh-ins and before the fights themselves.
None of the fighters suffered injuries and none of the fights at UFC 279 on Saturday are in jeopardy as a result of the incident.
–Field Level Media