- Chael Sonnen thinks the Nevada State Athletic Commission should’ve been solely accountable for UFC 229 brawl in 2018
- “The Bad Guy” explained why he thinks NSAC was smart enough to fine Conor McGregor first before the UFC star’s team make a move
Chael Sonnen is still convinced that the Nevada State Athletic Commission was able to spare themselves from being sued by Conor McGregor after failing to do their job at UFC 229 in October 2018.
A “brilliant” move
As “The Bad Guy” closed out 2022 on his YouTube channel, he recounted the infamous UFC 229 post-fight brawl between McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Sonnen declared the incident as one of his all-time favorites and boldly insisted that while fines and suspensions were handed out to the culprits, it was NSAC that should’ve been held accountable for it.
I am thankful for the Nevada athletic commissions fair assessment and handling of the brawl incident.
It was not my intention to land the final blow of the night on my opponent’s blood relative. It’s just how it played out.
I look forward to competing again soon.
Thank you all.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 30, 2019
According to Sonnen, it was a “brilliant” damage control move by NSAC’s legal team to fine and suspend “The Notorious” before the UFC superstar’s team even realize that they had the right to file a lawsuit.
“One of my all-time favorites was what Nevada pulled on Conor McGregor the day that team Khabib jumped the cage and attacked Conor. I don’t even know if you guys know that. I think it was a hundred and fifty grand. If I’m wrong it was [a hundred and] 75. They fined Conor. Now the commission doesn’t have a whole bunch of jobs, but they damn sure have one, which is to keep the fighters safe. Conor was where he was supposed to be, doing what he was supposed to be doing. The apparatus that was supposed to be secured was failed to be secured and they went after Conor. It was absolutely brilliant,” Sonnen explained.
“They didn’t make a mistake,” he continued. “They didn’t really think Conor did something wrong. They got some legal minds in a room and ‘go after him before he files a lawsuit. And do it now. Come after him and give him a settle.’”
It’s always the supervisor’s fault
Sonnen went on and cited a similar situation he witnessed in the past, involving a wrestling coach, whom he opted not to name, but described as “legendary in Oregon” and “very successful guy.” The former middleweight title contender said the coach hurt one of his pupils over a heated exchange during a training session. For Sonnen, regardless of the reason, the coach should be liable for everything as hurting someone was never on his job description.
Sonnen thinks the same thing applied to NSAC as their main job at UFC 229 was to help prevent such unnecessary brawls during big events.
“Doesn’t matter if the kid is running at him or not, you have a 17-year-old kid that got struck by a coach… The same concept is what happened to Conor McGregor. They have a job to keep him safe… They failed. They now have exposure, so they went after Conor and Conor wrote them a cheque,” Sonnen pointed out.
It can be recalled that moments after Nurmagomedov defended his lightweight belt against McGregor, all hell broke loose when “The Eagle” jumped over the cage into the stands to go after his foe’s then-training partner Dillion Danis. McGregor also got involved and an ugly brawl followed suit.
UFC president Dana White said he knew the Nurmagomedov-McGregor rivalry was real but he didn’t see that coming at all.
Nurmagomedov has retired but to this day, he and McGregor still go after each other verbally every now and then.