Russian mixed martial artist Khabib Nurmagomedov has threatened to quit fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Championship if his teammate is sacked over the post-fight brawl against Conor McGregor, AFP has reported.
The Russian fighter retained his UFC lightweight title after beating Ireland’s McGregor by submission in the fourth round of their UFC 229 in Las Vegas .
He jumped out of the ring and assaulted a member of McGregor’s camp who had been heckling him during the bout.
Nurmagomedov’s teammate Zubaira Tukhugov attacked a dazed McGregor inside the octagon during the post-fight brawl outside. McGregor later said he would not press charges.
Tukhugov is scheduled to fight Artem Lobov but fight has been called off in wake of the incident.
The Russian fighter has informed the fighting association that he will not part ways with his teammate under any condition and is willing to walk away from the organization.
“If you decide to fire him, you should know that you’ll lose me too,” Nurmagomedov posted on Instagram and Twitter.
“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.
“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.”
Nurmagomedov’s $2 million paycheck has been withheld by the Nevada Athletic Commission as it probes the post-fight brawl.
“You can keep my money that you are withholding,” Nurmagomedov said. “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.”