The UFC world has been rocked after the pre-fight press conference between Nate Diaz and Khamzat Chimaev was cancelled after the two teams got into an altercation backstage.
While the action was meant to be saved for Saturday, the heat between Diaz and Chimaev exploded backstage before the pair met on stage.
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The altercation prompted UFC boss Dana White to front the media and claim it was an "absolute s**t show" at the MGM Grand Garden.
"There's lots of crazy s**t back there," White added.
Speculation ran wild when White didn't elaborate on the details to why the second-half of the press conference was cancelled.
White then spoke to the media and claimed the company wasn't prepared for the altercations.
“There were guys who had beefs that we didn’t know had beefs,” White said.
ESPN reported that Chimaev threw a front kick at Holland, which kickstarted the scuffle.
MMA Fighting's Mike Heck also confirmed the reports.
“Let me just start off by saying I’m not going to tell everyone what went down back here,” White added.
“But there were multiple, crazy, I don’t even know what to call it. For 22 years, however long I’ve been doing this, we’ve never had an incident like today. All hell broke loose out here. We stopped it, but we didn’t do a good job of not letting it happen.
“I don’t know what went on here. It’s never happened before. We’ll be ready for it the next time. … It was crazy. It was absolutely nuts back here.”
Holland took to Twitter to reply to Helwani's comments.
— Kevin Holland (@Trailblaze2top) September 9, 2022
UFC world reacts to altercation
Leading UFC reporter Ariel Helwani claimed the fight occurred when Chimaev reacted to some of the comments Holland "has said recently and it set him off."
He then claimed Diaz noticed the fracas and became involved.
This is when bottles started flying.
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
However, Heck claimed a fighter not even on the UFC card this weekend was at the start of all the drama.
Paolo Costa reportedly fired up Chimaev backstage.
Just to clarify, everything I said on the reaction video was told to me by people who were definitely backstage during the chaos. The Costa wrinkle was an out-of-left-fielder, but as I said, that was the text I got, that’s what I read.
— Mike Heck (@MikeHeck_JR) September 9, 2022
This comes as the pair were seen trading verbal barbs in videos circulating in previous days.
White later claimed that former UFC fighter, turned trainer, Tiki Ghosn was hit by a water bottle when trying to break up the altercation between fighters.
“Tiki took one for the team and he’s not even on the team,” White said.
White also said the UFC would look at protocols to avoid something like this happening again.
“What we need to do is look at how this happened and [figure out] why we were unprepared for it,” he added.
“Why weren’t we able to manage this backstage area better than we did. We’ll be better next time we do a press conference. This will never happen again.”
with Yahoo Sport US - Jack Baer and Kevin Iole