Conor McGregor’s coach has opened up about what Dillon Danis did before Khabib Nurmagomedov went berserk.
In crazy scenes after Khabib made McGregor tap during the fourth round of their grudge match at UFC 229, the Russian fighter launched himself out of the Octagon and straight at McGregor’s teammate in the front row.
Many commentators have since theorised that Khabib was enraged by something Danis must have said.
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TMZ reported on Tuesday that Danis called Khabib a “f***ing Muslim rat” in between the second and third rounds of the fight, citing a ringside fan.
However McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh has denied those claims.
“I was standing beside Dillon. I didn’t see what he did but I could hear. He didn’t say anything,” Kavanagh said on the Joe Rogan Experience.
However Kavanagh believes a slight gesture might have ticked Khabib off, or something Danis said on social media before the fight.
“When I watched it back I could see him beckon (Nurmagomedov) on,” Kavanagh continued.
“It’s just stupid end of fight stuff. But it didn’t justify that level of response.
“Maybe there was something else in the build up. Dillon is a little bit of trouble online.”
But despite the drama, Kavanagh didn’t take too much exception to Khabib’s actions.
“It wasn’t that big of a deal to me what Khabib did. It just really wasn’t,” he said.
“I hope (Nevada State Athletic Commission) is lenient. Not just so we can get a rematch. I just love watching him fight.
“I can stretch myself to understand his reaction.”
McGregor and Khabib both facing punishments
The NSAC is planning to file official complaints against McGregor and Nurmagomedov, according to ESPN.
The NSAC has launched a full investigation into the fight, and is currently reviewing footage from the fight and interviewing those who were involved.
The commission has held Nurmagomedov’s US$2 million pay cheque in expectation of filing the official complaint. It released McGregor’s US$3 million cheque, but has decided to file a complaint against him too after further review.
“We will be filing against Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov,” NSAC chairman Anthony Marnell told ESPN.
“Because we withheld one purse, we will have to move expeditiously to a complaint and hearing. We have held 100 percent of one of the fighter’s money, so the goal is to get the complaints out in the next 24 to 48 hours.”
Marnell told ESPN that Nurmagomedov is facing both a fine and a suspension, and that he hopes to hold disciplinary hearings by the end of November.
“This is a serious issue, this is not a light issue,” Marnell told ESPN.
“This isn’t, ‘We smacked each other in the face in a hotel lobby the week of a fight.’
“This is the night of the event, and it needs to stay inside that field of combat.
“There are serious regulations and statutes about what took place, and the consequences have to match the actions.”