Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov received retrospective bans for their part in the melee that followed their fight in Las Vegas in October 2018.
Irishman McGregor was handed a six-month suspension and fined $50,000, while his Russian rival Nurmagomedov was banned for nine months and fined $500,000 by the Nevada Athletic Commission.
The post-fight brawl came after Nurmagomedov scaled the octagon to launch an attack on McGregor’s team after demolishing the Irishman to maintain his unbeaten 27-0 record last year.
Members of the Russian’s team were also involved in a fracas with the beaten McGregor. Both bans have been back-dated to the night of the fight.
McGregor posted two messages on Twitter following the news.
“I am thankful for the Nevada Athletic Commission’s fair assessment and handling of the brawl incident,” wrote McGregor.
“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.”
Moments later, the 30-year-old tweeted another message explaining the incident.
“The final blow of the night UFC 229 in association with McGregor Sports and Entertainment.”
Meanwhile, Nurmagomedov tweeted “politics forever” as two members of his team were also banned for their involvement in the incident.
The Russian’s suspension will be reduced by three months if he partakes in an anti-bullying campaign in Nevada.
However, Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz argued his man was not the bully in this situation.
“He bullied all his opponents in the past but on Oct 6 he got humbled and bullied. Justice was served and the bully got bullied. Simple as that,” the manager tweeted, referring to McGregor.
But it was a busy 24 hours for the fight league in Nevada, as light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones received the all-clear to fight in Las Vegas on March 2.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimously to grant Jones a conditional license for one fight, meaning that if he tests positive for the banned M3 steroid metabolite at a picogram/Ml level, he will still be able to fight.
Jones was banned for the substance for 15 months by California, but traces of the steroid have shown on subsequent tests. The same scientist whom the California commission used to suspend Jones has since given testimony – to NSAC – that the new findings are not from any re-administering the banned substance.
The decision comes just over one month after the UFC moved an entire event from Las Vegas to Los Angeles at the eleventh hour, with Jones’s license having been refuted in Nevada.
Jones will defend the 205lb belt against Anthony Smith on March 2.
Elsewhere, Liverpudlian Darren Till went face to face with Jorge Masvidal in London yesterday, ahead of their headline event in the UK capital on March 16.
Till, meanwhile, said about fighting in London in ten weeks’ time: “I’m quite proud of myself because it’s my 4th main event in last than 2 years. Keep main eventing, keep big bills, keep fighting big names.”
“I’m happy because I’ve never ever fought in London in my life, the UFC were really pushing for this main event and now it’s happening. Not just the main event but the whole card is probably one of the best cards in London. I’m not saying that because I’m on it, it’s just every fight is going to be a crowd pleaser. I’m looking forward to the whole card if I’m honest”
On his last performance, losing to Tyron Woodley in a bid to win the UFC welterweight title, Till added: “It depends how you take a loss, a lot of people can change from a loss. It hasn’t changed me, I know what happened in the fight. It wasn’t a good fight for me in no way, shape or form. I was fully prepared, I trained harder than I’ve ever trained in my life. In my own opinion it was an embarrassing performance from myself, props to the champion.”
On Jorge Masvidal, his opponent in London, there was one message: a knockout.
“I remember Masvidal back from when I used to fight in back gardens. I’ve said that to him before, it’s just one of those fights where there’s not a lot of rubbish involved. Jorge is someone like me who’s game, so I don’t really need to sit here and talk a lot of rubbish or disrespect him in any way.
“Do I want to knock him out? Yes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t respect the guy. I’m coming for war on the 16th of March.”
Gunnar Nelson and Leon Edwards, who meet in the co-main event, were also in attendance at BT Tower in central London.
Till even had a message for fellow Brit Edwards. “Listen your day will come and when it comes, you’ll get it. I’m no.1 [in the UK] I’m in the main event, don’t kid yourself brother come on.