Danis says UFC 229 brawl was ‘kind of fun’, denies inciting riot
Conor McGregor’s teammate Dillon Danis details his side of the story behind the now infamous UFC 229 post-fight brawl between him and Khabib Nurmagomedov’s team.
UFC 229 will be more remembered for the post-fight brawl that took place between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor’s team cage side. All of it was said to be rooted to Dillon Danis’ alleged anti-Muslim remarks that were supposedly hurled towards the defending lightweight champion.
Aside from denying the claims of his supposed untoward statements, Danis never really spoke in detail about the incident. During Monday’s episode of Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, he told his side of the story.
“This started in I think the third or second round. I was behind the cage and he was on the other side and he kept trying to come,” Danis recalled (transcript by MMAjunkie). “He was pointing and saying stuff to me and I was thinking in my head, ‘Man, this guy is crazy.’ I’m trying to focus on my friend. He kept coming and saying stuff and cursing and I’m like, ‘This dude is insane.’
“Even in between rounds, they were close to the fence and he was like eyeing and mouthing stuff. It started during the fight, that stuff was going on. I could kind of sense he was in a different state of mind.”
Danis maintained his innocence with regards to inciting the whole brawl, and once again denied his supposed remarks against Khabib’s religion.
“There was how many people in that arena? There was not one video of me saying that,” he said. “I’m pretty sure that was just Ali (Abdelaziz) trying to start trouble, which is very disheartening because I have very close friends that are Muslim and of many religions and that hurt me actually.”
“After the fight, even with Nate Diaz or any of them, after a fight it’s usually respect. I would never, ever start a fight with someone after a fight. I’m a martial artist from the beginning, since I was a kid and that’s just not who I am.”
As for the overall experience, Danis admitted that he did enjoy himself through the entire ruckus.
“I actually didn’t mind it,” Danis said of the incident. “I don’t necessarily say I like stuff like that, but that’s just like another Saturday night where I come from.
“It was kind of fun.”
Danis was also slapped with a seven-month suspension and a $7,500 fine for his involvement in the incident, and will be cleared to compete in May. On Monday, the 25-year-old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu standout announced the booking of his MMA return at Bellator 221 on May 11th, where he faces Max Humphrey in a 175-pound catch-weight bout.