Tukhugov taken off UFC Fight Night 138 sparks Khabib to threaten to leave UFC

October 11, 2018

Khabib Nurmagomedov has given the UFC an ultimatum.  Keep his teammates in the UFC, or lose him.

The Eagle made this statement on Instagram after Saturday night’s post-fight brawl which included UFC featherweight Zubaira Tukhugov.  It was Tukhugov who threw a punch at Conor McGregor in the Octagon after Nurmagomedov left the cage to go after McGregor’s jiu jitsu coach Dilon Danis.

The Instagram statement was made once news that Tukhugov was removed from his fight against McGregor teammate Artem Lobov at UFC Fight Night 138 at the end of the month.  A replacement for Tukhugov is being sought although Lobov is lobbying Dana White to keep Tuhugov.

 

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

A day after meeting Vladimir Putin, Khabib told the Nevada Athletic Commission that they could keep his $2 million purse.

Khabib’s cites the lack of punishment given to McGregor for his attack on the bus he was in at the Barclay’s Center back in April.

Payout Perspective:

This was bound to happen.  The UFC did nothing to discipline McGregor citing his arrest by New York Police was good enough has now come back to haunt them.  Now, Khabib is using the lack of discipline in that case to save his teammate from expulsion from the promotion.  If that does not happen, he has threatened to leave.  This is a bad situation from the promotion as it now must decide how to deal with this situation.  It’s apparent that Khabib has some leverage in this situation as he likely has opportunities in Europe and Russia outside of the company.  Coming off the best PPV buy rate ever, the UFC will now have a slippery slope it must navigate as if they do nothing, it is even more precedent for athletes to get away without discipline.

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