Conor McGregor’s Coach Calls for Criminal Charges in Post-Fight Melee

By Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'
October 10, 2018 Updated: October 10, 2018

Conor McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, said that whoever attacked the Irish fighter in the Octagon after his UFC 229 loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov on Oct. 6 in Las Vegas, should face criminal charges.

Kavanagh, speaking to UFC commentator Joe Rogan on his MMA podcast, said that while Khabib’s actions were forgivable, there should be serious ramifications for those who attacked McGregor inside the cage.

“If Khabib had done that isolated, I didn’t think it [would have been] that big a deal,” said Kavanagh. “He didn’t really hit Dillon, a bit of pushing and pulling, who cares.”

“[But if] you’re a man coming up and hitting—it was absolutely dangerous—he was a trained fighter, bare knuckles, and he’s hitting a guy who’s tired from some hard rounds, who’s taken some headshots, and he went for the illegal shot. There’s a reason you’re not [allowed to hit] the stem of the brain there.”

“There have to be ramifications for that,” Kavanagh said.

“You can’t allow that to happen again,” Rogan replied.

Joe Rogan interviews Conor McGregor
File photo of commentator Joe Rogan (L) interviewing UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor during his weigh-in for UFC 202 at MGM Grand Conference Center on Aug. 19, 2016, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“An example has to be made so that other people in the height of it go, ‘Wait a second, it’s not just a slap on the wrist. Something substantial happens if you do something criminal,'” Kavanagh said. “It’s assault.”

On Monday evening, Las Vegas Police confirmed no arrests were made following the fight.

A statement read “LVMPD officers assisted with breaking up several small fights that took place after Saturday night’s UFC main event in Las Vegas.”

“After all parties were separated, no one involved wished to press charges and no arrests occurred,” the statement read, according to Fox Sports.

Spectacular Win Turns Into All-in Brawl

Nurmagomedov (27-0) beat McGregor (21-4) in the fourth round Saturday, clinching a submission victory via what UFC officials and commentators have alternatively identified as a rear naked choke or a neck crank.

The visibly upset Russian then scaled the Octagon fence and pounced on McGregor’s jiu-jitsu coach, Dillon Danis, sparking a chaotic intervention by security staff who immediately separated the two men.

McGregor was also seen trying to punch a member of Nurmagomedov’s entourage who was in the Octagon.

Then another man, who had climbed into the Octagon, hit McGregor while he wasn’t looking.

McGregor and Nurmagomedov at UFC 229
Conor McGregor (blue gloves) grapples against Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. A brawl broke out moments later, resulting in the arrest of 3 of Numagomedov’s team-mates. (Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)

‘I Slapped Him As Promised’

Zubaira Tukhugov, a member of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s team, took to social media after the brawl and bragged about striking McGregor.

“I slapped him as promised,” said Tukhugov. “I promised to make him answer for his words and I did.”

View this post on Instagram

На заметку многим !

A post shared by Fan Page🌐 Khabib Nurmagomedov (@teamkhabib_nurmagomedov) on

The UFC featherweight also denied that McGregor punched him, which some have argued was the case in video footage of the brawl. “Tell everyone who thinks I was hit, where? Where, nothing. Just this cop pushed me away, on the video, as if I was hit, in short. Not missed, was not even close.”

Tukhugov is a member of the UFC featherweight roster. The Chechen-born fighter was scheduled to confront McGregor’s longtime teammate, Artem Lobov, at UFC Fight Night 138 later this month, according to Tukhugov’s involvement in the UFC 229 post-fight brawl may now preclude that fight from taking place.

UFC boss Dana White told reporters the individuals who struck McGregor during the brawl “will never fight here,” MMA Junkie reported.

Complaints To Be Filed Against Both Fighters

In the aftermath of the brawl, the Nevada State Athletic Commission said it plans to file complaints against both fighters.

Commission chairman Anthony Marnell told ESPN on Monday that the board is investigating the Saturday fracas.

Nurmagomedov, from Russia, had his $2 million purse held with a complaint pending, multiple media outlets reported. McGregor received his $3 million payment, but that was before the NSAC saw the video that implicated the Irish star of post-fight wrongdoing as well.

“We will be filing against Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov,” 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. Temporary suspensions will be out shortly, and we’re shooting for a final hearing date in November.”

The NSAC still could sanction other people involved, Marnell said.

Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'