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Corners, not just Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, also on hook for UFC 229 brawl

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LAS VEGAS – Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov may be at the center of the UFC 229 brawl, but they aren’t the only ones subject to punishment.

Anyone who was licensed by the commission and participated in the brawl “will have action brought against them,” Nevada State Athletic Commission Chairman Anthony Marnell today told MMAjunkie.

McGregor (21-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) and Nurmagomedov (27-0 MMA, 11-0 UFC) initially received 10-day suspensions for their actions at UFC 229. Today, the commission extended those terms pending the resolution of disciplinary complaints that are expected to be finalized by the NSAC’s meeting in December.

The NSAC currently is conducting a “comprehensive investigation” into the incident that involves footage not previously seen by the public. Although multiple angles of the brawl were captured by fans in the crowd at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, Marnell said the commission is employing additional investigative resources, including tracking the whereabouts of others alleged to have been involved.

“There’s a lot of film we’re reviewing that you’re not seeing,” he said. “There’s a lot going on that the public is probably not aware of.”

McGregor’s attorney, ex-UFC counsel Michael Mersch, understood the UFC star’s role in the incident. However, he said the corners should share in the blame for what ultimately transpired.

“But for the actions of Mr. Nurmagomedov, none of this would have happened,” he said. “I hope the commission will not just focus on the two fighters in this case, because I think the commission has a history of looking at the actions of corner people, as well.

“I don’t pretend to know the names or functions of every single person that was in and out of the octagon post-fight, but I assume that at least some of them were licensed by this commission. And this commission, whether it was in the Zab Judah hearings, or the Mike Tyson ‘Bite Fight,’ the commission looks at activities above and beyond the fighters themselves. Once I have a complaint, we’re happy to address it with them.”

In 2006, the NSAC suspended and fined boxer Judah and his father/coach Yoel Judah for a melee following a fight against Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather’s advisor, Leonard Ellerbe, was also suspended and fined. Tyson was fined $3 million and his boxing license was revoked for biting Evander Holyfield’s ear in a rematch in the infamous “Bite Fight” in 1997.

Mersch expressed frustration at not being provided the video being reviewed by the commission during its investigation. But he looked forward to defending McGregor when he receives a complaint from the commission.

After the melee, three of Nurmagomedov’s teammates were detained by Las Vegas police, but they were released after McGregor declined to press charges on them. Still, UFC President Dana White vowed the champ’s cornerman – two of which are believed to be UFC fighters Islam Makhachev and Zubaira Tukhugov – would be banned from the promotion. Tukhugov was later removed from a co-headliner opposite McGregor teammate Artem Lobov at UFC Fight Night 138.

A public records request for all of McGregor and Nurmagomedov’s licensed corners is pending with the NSAC.

For complete coverage of UFC 229, check out the UFC Events section of the site.



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