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Khabib Nurmagomedov tells UFC he'll quit if team-mate is axed

Zubaira Tukhugov was scheduled to fight Artem Lobov, Conor McGregor’s training partner, later this month.

Khabib Nurmagomedov gestures to Conor McGregor's corner after his win last weekend at UFC 229.
Khabib Nurmagomedov gestures to Conor McGregor's corner after his win last weekend at UFC 229.
Image: USA Today Sports/Stephen R. Sylvanie/INPHO

KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV HAS threatened to quit the UFC if Saturday’s incident in Las Vegas costs one of his team-mates his place on the organisation’s roster.

The lightweight champion sparked mayhem after his win over Conor McGregor at UFC 229 by leaping from the octagon in an attempt to attack Dillon Danis, McGregor’s team-mate.

During the ensuing brawl, McGregor appeared to be struck by one of Nurmagomedov’s training partners, understood to be UFC featherweight Zubaira Tukhugov.

UFC president Dana White said afterwards that any fighter who escalated the situation by entering the octagon would never compete for the organisation again.

Nurmagomedov took to Instagram today to issue an ultimatum, in which he claimed that such consequences for Tukhugov will result in the UFC losing its lightweight champion too.

View this post on Instagram

I would like to address @ufc Why didn't you fire anyone when their team attacked the bus and injured a couple of people? They could have killed someone there, why no one says anything about insulting my homeland, religion, nation, family? Why do you have to punish my team, when both teams fought. If you say that I started it, then I do not agree, I finished what he had started. In any case, punish me, @zubairatukhugov has nothing to do with that. If you think that I’ll keep silent then you are mistaken. You canceled Zubaira’s fight and you want to dismiss him just because he hit Conor. But don’t forget that it was Conor who had hit my another Brother FIRST, just check the video. if you decide to fire him, you should know that you’ll lose me too. We never give up on our brothers in Russia and I will go to the end for my Brother. If you still decide to fire him, don’t forget to send me my broken contract, otherwise I'll break it myself. And one more thing, you can keep my money that you are withholding. You are pretty busy with that, I hope it won’t get stuck in your throat. We have defended our honor and this is the most important thing. We intend to go to the end. #Brothers

A post shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) on

Nurmagomedov questioned why McGregor wasn’t punished by the organisation for his attack on a bus carrying fighters in Brooklyn in April. He also insisted that McGregor struck his cousin, Abubakar, before Tukhugov got involved.

Furthermore, the undefeated Russian told the UFC to keep his disclosed pay of $2 million for Saturday’s fourth-round submission win, which is being withheld by the Nevada State Athletic Commission pending an investigation of the controversial incident.

Nurmagomedov wrote:

I would like to address [the UFC]. Why didn’t you fire anyone when their team attacked the bus and injured a couple of people? They could have killed someone there, why no one says anything about insulting my homeland, religion, nation, family? Why do you have to punish my team, when both teams fought. If you say that I started it, then I do not agree, I finished what he had started. In any case, punish me, [Zubaira Tukhugov] has nothing to do with that. If you think that I’ll keep silent then you are mistaken. You cancelled Zubaira’s fight and you want to dismiss him just because he hit Conor. But don’t forget that it was Conor who had hit another brother first, just check the video. If you decide to fire him, you should know that you’ll lose me too. We never give up on our brothers in Russia and I will go to the end for my brother. If you still decide to fire him, don’t forget to send me my broken contract, otherwise I’ll break it myself. And one more thing, you can keep my money that you are withholding. You are pretty busy with that, I hope it won’t get stuck in your throat. We have defended our honour and this is the most important thing. We intend to go to the end.

Zubaira Tukhugov had been scheduled to take on Artem Lobov, Conor McGregor’s team-mate, in a UFC bout in Canada on 27 October.

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Paul Dollery

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