UFC 239: Khabib team tells Nate Diaz to 'stand in line' after altercation
Undefeated Russian lightweight king Nurmagomedov and US brawler Diaz were seen being separated by security staff cageside at the at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night, where they were in attendance for the event headlined by the light-heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Thiago Santos.
Diaz was seen walking behind Nurmagomedov, who was dressed in a flat cap, while shouting something at the Russian.
Nurmagomedov initially motioned for Diaz to walk on, before standing up angrily and gesturing to him, prompting Diaz to step back towards him, at which point security moved in to separate the pair.
Staff at the arena were perhaps particularly mindful of the unsavory scenes the last time Nurmagomedov was at the venue, when his lightweight title victory over Conor McGregor was marred by a mass post-fight melee.
Nurmagomedov and Diaz also have previous, having been involved in an altercation at an event in Vegas back in August 2015.
After the latest incident, Khabib’s father and trainer Abdulmanap posted the footage on Instagram writing in Russia: “This guy is trying to get what he deserves without standing in line.”
"How many [times] we asked him and [Anthony] Pettis for the fight, it was difficult to reach agreement with them, but the UFC can give that chance to this guy," he added.
Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz, who was in the vicinity, reportedly played down the incident, as did Diaz’s team.
UFC chief Dana White said the pair were "talking sh*t to each other" but that "everybody got it before it became physical."
Both men are preparing for a return to the octagon, with Diaz scheduled to face Anthony Pettis at UFC 241 in California in August, in what will be the Stockton brawler’s first outing since his decision defeat to Conor McGregor three years ago.
Nurmagomedov, whose last opponent was also McGregor, defends his lightweight strap against interim champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi in September.Also on rt.com Head-kicking queen: Amanda Nunes uses Holly Holm's signature move to score TKO at UFC 239