Dana White started off his media scrum following the UFC 279 pre-fight press conference by stating he wouldn’t reveal everything that happened.
The UFC 279 pre-fight press conference was set to go down Thursday night with the likes of Kevin Holland, Daniel Rodriguez, Tony Ferguson Li Jingliang, Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz.
However, only Holland and Rodriguez appeared as UFC president Dana White revealed an incident occurred backstage which required only two fighters to come out at the same time.
After Holland and Rodriguez squared off, White was eventually told the severity of the situation and decided to cancel the rest of the press conference.
That's a wrap from the #UFC279 Presser 😅
See you tomorrow for weigh-ins! pic.twitter.com/mxf9f9L5hJ
— UFC (@ufc) September 8, 2022
So what exactly happened as much as White could tell us?
“Multiple crazy – I don’t even know what to call it,” White told reporters (via MMA Junkie). “However many years, 22 years, however long I’ve been doing this, we’ve never had an incident like today. All hell broke loose out here. I don’t even know how to (say it). We stopped it, but we didn’t do a good job of not letting happen. I just don’t know.”
As per various reports, it all started with Holland and Chimaev getting physical backstage after recent comments from the former.
The teams of each fighter were involved as well, but things eventually calmed down.
That was, until Diaz’s camp showed up and got involved. Water bottles were eventually thrown.
More info coming in.
Khamzat Chimaev push kicked Holland in the chest. Chimaev was reacting to things Holland has said recently and it set him off, I’m told. Once that was broken up the Chimaev-Diaz part of the story popped off and then the bottles started flying. https://t.co/WGpbskiQz7
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) September 9, 2022
White provided further information.
“The Diaz camp showed up with 57 people,” White revealed. “Khamzat’s team had 30-something people. Then you had multiple guys going on back here. It was crazy. It was absolutely nuts back here. … You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out where this whole press conference was headed.”
Dana White: This Won’t Happen Again
Luckily, no fights are in jeopardy and security can be expected to be heavily tightened for tomorrow’s weigh-ins and staredowns.
While crazy incidents have happened in the past, this was a new one for White as he promised it would never happen again.
“We come here with a skeleton crew for the press conferences,” White said. “There aren’t nearly as many people as there are for the ceremonial weigh-ins. We’ll have tons of security, Metro, it’s a totally different ball game.
“… This will never happen again.”
The end of the press conference didn’t stop things either.
Tensions between Kevin Holland and Chimaev's team continued in the lobby after the press conference, followed by a friendly cameo from Holland's opponent Daniel Rodriguez.
📹 via IG/chrisslowens pic.twitter.com/ilyL2DGY4n
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) September 9, 2022
All in all, this is good promotion for the UFC 279 pay-per-view event despite White stating otherwise.