Regarding the canceled UFC 279 press conference, new information has come to light. MMA Journalist Ariel Helwani has released additional detail on what went down backstage which caused the cancellation. Ahead of the broadcast portion of the press conference, according to new facts Khamzat Chimaev, Kevin Holland, and Nate Diaz’s crew were in an altercation involving Tiki Ghosn.
On Twitter, Helwani released the following new information:
“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.”
New UFC 279 Press Conference Information
The Canadian MMA journalist also added via video, that just moments before the UFC 279 press conference starting:
“Before going out, behind the curtain, there’s Khamzat Chimaev and his team, there’s Kevin Holland and his team, they’ve been exchanging some words as of late. And they started to exchange some words and they got very close to each other and were kind of pushing each other. No real physical activity.”
Helwani continued and said the former MMA fighter, coach, and now manager Tiki Ghosn was there to break up the altercation. Things appeared to be cooling off until Nate Diaz, and his team, show up.
Diaz and his compatriots see Chimaev and Tiki hanging out and being chill, and they weren’t happy about this. Words began to get exchanged. Helwani continues:
“Then all of a sudden, water bottles are being thrown. And I guess some people were upset with where Tiki was standing and the things that were being said back and forth. Then the whole thing gets out of hand, water bottles being thrown. I believe Tiki got hit by a bottle or two, but not seriously hurt. Then once that kind of escalated, everyone was finally pulled apart and they decided to cancel the press conference.”
See Helwani’s entire statement below:
It was then that Dana White announced to the gathered media and fans that the UFC 279 press conference will be canceled. As of now, these are all the details that are known.
Yesterday, just ahead of the UFC 279 press conference, Dana White said:
“Yeah, this ain’t gonna happen. I apologize everybody. I am in very weird waters here. This has never happened in the history of this company, so. Trust me when I tell you this is the right decision – not to do this press conference right now. And – yeah, I hear you – I’m with you. But for everybody’s safety, this is the right decision, alright? I apologise. Thanks for coming.”