Chimaev and Holland were slated to be two of the most vocal presences at the UFC 279 pre-fight press conference on Thursday in Las Vegas. After a late start to the media availability, UFC President Dana White hosted an impromptu presser involving Holland and his upcoming opponent, Daniel Rodriguez without Chimaev, Nate Diaz, Tony Ferguson, or Li Jingliang on stage.
The original plan was for the UFC to bring out the fighters two at a time to answer questions from the media. White then abruptly canceled the press conference due to an incident he called “unprecedented”.
A lot of mystery surrounded the bizarre UFC 279 press conference and its cancelation, the first-ever in the promotion’s history. Shortly after the alleged brawl and cancelation, Holland and Chimaev addressed what happened.
Khamzat Chimaev, Kevin Holland Weigh In On UFC 279 Presser Cancelation
Watch below as Chimaev issues his first statement following the alleged backstage brawl before the UFC 279 press conference, as posted to his Instagram story and transcribed to English from Spinnin Backfist.
According to a report by Ariel Helwani, the chaos ensued after Chimaev and Holland got into it behind the curtain. On Wednesday, Holland called Chimaev “fake” during his media day availability, prompting a heated response from Chimaev.
In a post-press conference tweet, Holland gave his side of the backstage chaos.
“Just so everyone knows. I offered that clown a free beard trim,” Holland tweeted. “I don’t know anywhere in the US that would offer that service free! I am precise I promise I would not knick him. At your service just like the hotel staff bro.”
Chimaev will face Diaz in the UFC 279 main event and all fights will go on as planned. White hinted at extra security and other safety measures being present at Friday’s ceremonial weigh-ins.
We’re just beginning to uncover what happened backstage at the presser, though things between Holland and Chimaev remain tense.
What are your thoughts on the backstage incident involving Khamzat Chimaev & Kevin Holland?