On Tuesday, the UFC finally announced the supplementary discipline for both Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor for their actions at UFC 229. The announcement comes nearly four months after the post fight brawl between McGregor and Nurmagomedov's respective teams.
The punishment as follows
McGregor receives: a six month ban from the UFC, and a $50,000 fine.
Nurmagomedov receives: a $500,000 fine, and a nine month suspension that can be reduced to a six month suspension if he chooses to do an anti-bullying video for the Las Vegas Police Department.
It's clear that the UFC believes that Khabib played a significantly bigger role in the brawl than Conor given the intense punishment given to one but not the other. Khabib made his thoughts on the entire situation very clear on twitter when he tweeted out "politics forever" shortly after the announcement was made public.
As someone who has been on team McGregor for most of my time as a UFC fan, I kind of agree with Khabib in this situation. It's well known that McGregor is considered the "golden boy" of the UFC; rightly so, as the former double champion makes the UFC a bucketload of cash with the antics that he pulls. In this situation, it was evidently clear that McGregor verbally abused Nurmagomedov to the point where he snapped, and took it out on McGregor's trainers.
With that being said, I saw no moment in the entire situation where it was warranted to make Khabib record an anti-bullying message in order to reduce a suspension. If anything, Mcgregor should've received the higher suspension, and should've been asked to do some anti-bullying courses to try and keep his actions under control.
On the other hand, I fully understand as to why the UFC played this the way that they did. The market for McGregor and everything that he does is proven to make the UFC money no matter how many people he offends along the way. If you have him sitting out for an extended period of time, you're missing out on millions of dollars by having his next bout later in the year. It sucks for a guy like Khabib, but it is a business decision that makes a lot of sense for the UFC.
The fines meanwhile, are fairly accurate to the situation. If you watch the clip, it is clear as day that Nurmagomedov is the first to throw a punch in the altercation, making him the interrogator of the brawl. Also, because the person that he hit was outside of the ring, and not really a part of the actual fight, this is essentially a assault case against Khabib.
On the podcast I compared it to you jumping someone near by. Regardless of what they said to you, you are going to be charged with assault because you threw the punch and escalated the situation to physical violence. Had this happened in private and not caught on every camera in the building, then the UFC might have been able to sweep this under the rug. Since it happened for all eyes to see, they had to make an example of Khabib so that this doesn't happen in any other fights.
This has been an ugly situation from day one, and there are no winners when something like this happens. The UFC, however, did what they could to continue the growth of their brand, while still setting an example for any future fighters thinking of making this stupid decision. While most people won't agree with the decision, it's hard to argue against all signs pointing to success for the UFC.