Aside from calling Khabib Nurmagomedov’s removal from tonight’s UFC 209 card “a blow” to the event, UFC President Dana White had remained unusually quiet about what had occurred. However, it seems he believes the fight could have gone on had Nurmagomedov’s team notified the UFC of the situation.
Speaking with the media, White accused Nurmagomedov’s team of breaking protocol by visiting a local hospital, as opposed to seeking a consultation with the UFC doctor. “Basically, his team had decided to take him to just some random hospital here in Las Vegas instead of picking up the phone and calling our doctor and calling Brianna [Mattison], who runs all the medicals,” White said. “They went rogue and went out and did their own thing. Had they done this thing the right way, the fight probably could have been saved.”
Asked about Nurmagomedov’s history of weight issues, White acknowledged that it could hurt not only his title prospects but also do long term damage to his body. “It’s never good,” White said. “If you’re doing it and things are going bad, it’s bad on your kidneys, it’s bad on your liver. It’s just bad all the way around. He’s doing better now. Obviously, he’s okay. He’s gonna be fine. But yeah. It’s never good.”
Although several fighters offered to step up for a new co-main event, the UFC opted to scrap the bout after Tony Ferguson refused to fight a replacement, citing a reduced purse amount and his desire to fight for a title.
Cervantes Analysis: I find White’s comments unnerving because he’s saying that his doctor would have cleared Nurmagomedov to fight, even though it was evident he was in no condition to do so. This sounds like the textbook definition of a conflict of interest and I think the athletic commissions should have independent medical examiners weigh in on the condition of a fighter’s health rather than having UFC doctors make the call.
SATURDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
–Cody Garbrandt is threatening to release video footage that he says shows him knocking out T.J. Dillashaw during a training session around 2012. He told TMZ he’s lost patience with Dillashaw claiming the incident never happened. He said he just wants him to admit it happened, because his inclination is to not release footage from a training session. He said his coaches who have the video would sell the tape for the right price. “He’s not a good person,” Garbrandt said, “I don’t like the guy.” He then gave him a middle finger gesture to close the video interview. TMZ has more HERE.
-Mike Hiscoe will be covering UFC 209 live tonight, so check out our coverage.
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NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE:
FRIDAY NEWS DIGEST 3/3: Ferguson explains why he wouldn’t face Michael Johnson as late replacement for Nurmagomedov (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)
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