UFC President Dana White was forced to cancel the UFC 279 pre-fight press conference on Thursday after multiple backstage altercations threatened the safety of ... well, just about everyone. To be fair, event headliner Khamzat Chimaev warned us that his crew — which “Borz” claims to be 20 deep — would be ready for war when opponent Nate Diaz and his squad rolled up for their respective media duties. Instead, everyone was sent home until the UFC 279 weigh ins later today, which will undoubtedly have extra security ahead of this Sat. night’s (Sept. 10, 2022) pay-per-view (PPV) card at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
UFC middleweight and full-time “Smesh” brother Darren Till was part of the Chimaev crew and later found himself caught up in a verbal altercation with Kevin Holland. “Trailblazer” competes on the UFC 279 fight card this weekend in “Sin City” opposite welterweight up-and-comer Daniel Rodriguez and was reportedly kicked by Chimaev after threatening to shave the Chechen’s beard. “The Gorilla” insists the entire incident — and everyone involved — caught more heat than was warranted because the situation was “just normal” from his perspective.
“It was just normal,” Till told The Mac Life. “I don’t know if I’m just saying that because we’re fighters because we just fight all the time. I think people on the outside just build it up a little more than it is. It just is what it is. 100 million percent [a big fight could have kicked off]. All I know is ... Diaz’s team’s over there, like 57 of them, and we’re over there, 35 of us or something. Let me tell you one thing, most of them are fighters and most of us are fighters. All this shit like how I’m this, I’m that ... Most of us come from the streets and most of them do. That’s what we’re used to doing. If we’re getting close, things are gonna get said. Someone’s gonna be looking at someone and say who’re you looking at? Then we’re all gonna fight. That’s what’s gonna happen.”
White undoubtedly shared Till’s assessment which is why he pulled the plug on the UFC 279 press conference. No word yet on what plans are in place to prevent a similar incident from happening during the ceremonial weigh ins later today, but you can expect tensions to run high before, during, and after fighters step on the scale at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which are (hopefully) followed by staredowns.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 279 fight card, starting with the early UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches at 6 p.m. ET as well as the remaining undercard balance on ESPNN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET by clicking HERE. That’s followed by the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV with live results and “Khamzat vs. Diaz” play-by-play action RIGHT HERE.
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