NAC confirms two UFC 300 fighters’ pay withheld, says Dana White offered to pay fine for cage leap

Nevada has officially voted to withhold earnings from UFC 300 fighters Arman Tsarukyan and Diego Lopes pending disciplinary hearings.

At a monthly meeting Tuesday, the Nevada Athletic Commission voted to withhold 20 percent ($31,600) of Tsarukyan’s purse ($158,000) for swiping at a fan during his walkout, and five percent ($5,000) of Lopes’ $100,000 purse for hopping over the cage in celebration of his victoy. The commission had temporarily withheld the funds since the April 13 event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Executive director Jeff Mullen also revealed that UFC CEO Dana White said he’d pay Lopes’ fine, which came about after he hopped the cage following his finish of Sodiq Yusuff. Video showed that Lopes appeared to ask for and receive permission from White prior to the leap.

“After (Lopes) won, he jumped up and gestured toward Dana White, like, ‘Can I come over? Can I come over?'” Mullen said. “And White gestured like, ‘Come over.’ Then, I immediately stood up and took a step over that way and Dana White said, ‘I will pay his fine. I will pay his fine.’ Then our inspectors came around and proceeded to (assist) as I was trying to get him back in the cage also. Our inspectors came around and escorted him back in the cage.”

Tsarukyan was met with a middle finger by a fan during his walkout before his split decision win over Charles Oliveira. In response, Tsarukyan threw a punch into the crowd, which was captured on the broadcast and from multiple cell phone cameras.

Mullen said Tuesday the fan was asked if he wanted to press charges. The fan declined, accepted responsibility for instigating the incident (something he also did publicly) and expressed relief he was not ejected.

Multiple commission members indicated they felt the incident was unprecedented with nothing quite like it having happened before.

The two fighters will have formal disciplinary hearings at a future commission meeting, likely one scheduled for May 31.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie