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The Nevada Athletic Commission has awarded Khabib Nurmagomedov half of his $2 million purse for his victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 229, according to Ariel Helwani of ESPN.com, with the other half being withheld “pending the results of the ongoing investigation.”
The commission also voted to extend the suspensions of Nurmagomedov and McGregor until the investigation is completed, per Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com. The investigation will focus on both fighters’ actions after the fight, when Nurmagomedov climbed out of the Octagon and attacked Dillon Danis, who trains with McGregor.
That instigated a huge brawl, which included McGregor climbing on the Octagon and appearing to aim a punch toward someone on Nurmagomedov’s team. That was before two members of the Russian’s entourage entered the Octagon and threw punches at McGregor.
Security had to intervene, and UFC President Dana White made the decision to not present Nurmagomedov with his belt in the ring out of concern for his safety. Three members of Nurmagomedov’s team were arrested in the incident, though McGregor didn’t press charges.
Despite the post-fight altercation, Nurmagomedov was not stripped of his UFC lightweight title.
“He absolutely keeps his title,” White said two weeks ago in a video on UFC.com (h/t Yahoo Sports). “And he’s going to get suspended (by the NAC), so maybe you give him a four-to-six-month suspension.”
Both Nurmagomedov and McGregor will be suspended until at least a December disciplinary hearing, according to BBC Sport, at which point it will be determined whether Nurmagomedov receives the other half of his purse.
NAC chair Anthony Marnell lll also said McGregor—who already received his full purse—likely should have faced the same waiting game as Nurmagomedov.
“If I would have had the video I now have, I would have also withheld McGregor’s purse,” he said.
He also spoke about the decision to withhold half of Nurmagomedov’s purse (h/t Damon Martin of MMA Weekly):
“I have felt half was a good enough amount of money, to release a million dollars, that should cover all expenses and give the fighter some money. But at the same time, it’s still a very substantial amount of money to be withheld until we can get to the case in December and get all of the testimony or potentially we get a settlement agreement. Who knows how that will go over the next 60 days, but it’s enough money to keep this contestant’s interest in this hearing.”
The NAC still holds the right to substantially fine both fighters for their role in the brawl and issue significant bans.