The UFC 202 pre-fight press conference wasn’t anyone’s idea of a success.
Nate Diaz showed up about 10 minutes late. Conor McGregor showed up 30 minutes late. Then it devolved into a bottle and can throwing melee involving both main eventers and several people from Diaz’s camp, including his brother, Nick.
Although it is unlikely to affect Saturday’s fight, both fighters can expect to be punished. There is also a lawsuit already in the works, according to UFC president Dana White, who spoke with TMZ Sports on Thursday.
“They’re both getting punished,” said White.
“What everybody’s gotta understand is we’re overseen by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. I guarantee both of these guys will get massive fines. And there’s probably gonna be a hearing, too, after the fight. There could be suspensions, community service; it’s gonna be ugly.”
Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier were punished by the NAC following a similar incident in 2014. Jones and Cormier got into a media day brawl that ended with a UFC official getting knocked off of the stage, the background collapsing, and the fight spilling over into a crowd of people. Both were issued fines and required to perform community service.
The Nevada commission confirmed to MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday that it was already looking into the incident to determine how to handle the situation.
Aside from the punishment that could be doled out by the athletic commission, White said that there is already a lawsuit underway from someone in the crowd that was allegedly injured.
“The word is that in this thing somebody was injured. So, there’s gonna be a lawsuit. Who knows how it’s gonna play out,” said White. “Somebody’s filing a lawsuit, all the wheels are in motion on it.”
A lawsuit in the works debunks the claims that the whole thing was staged to increase pay-per-view buys. As White put it, an incident in which innocent fans could get hurt isn’t exactly the smartest way to drum up interest.
“It was 100-percent real. If you’re gonna come up with something staged, throwing cans and bottles in a public place is probably one of the dumbest things you could come up with,” said White. “It’s gonna cost them both a lot of money, a lot of headache and hassle, and they’re both in big trouble.”
(Video courtesy of TMZSports | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)