Khabib Nurmagomedov has threatened to leave the UFC if the promotion cuts ties with his teammate and rostered featherweight Zubaira Tukhugov.
In an Instagram post on Thursday, Nurmagomedov (27-0), who defended his lightweight championship against Conor McGregor in what he described as a deeply personal fight at UFC 229 on Saturday in Las Vegas, told the UFC to “send me my broken contract” if they cut Tukhugov, who was involved in a melee following Nurmagomedov’s victory.
“I would like to address UFC. Why didn’t you fire anyone when their team attacked the bus and injured a couple people?” Nurmagomedov wrote, referring to an incident in April when McGregor threw a steel dolly through the window of a bus Nurmagomedov was riding in at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, before UFC 223. “They could have killed someone there, why no one says anything about insulting my homeland, religion, nation, family?
“Why do you have to punish my team, when both teams fought. If you say that I started it, then I do not agree, I finished what he had started. In any case, punish me, [Tukhugov] has nothing to do with that.
“If you think that I’ll keep silent then you are mistaken. You canceled Zubaira’s fight and you want to dismiss him just because he hit Conor. But don’t forget that it was Conor who had hit my another Brother FIRST, just check the video.
“If you decide to fire him, you should know that you’ll lose me too. We never give up on our brothers in Russia and I will go to the end for my Brother. If you still decide to fire him, don’t forget to send me my broken contract, otherwise I’ll break it myself.”
Nurmagomedov also told the UFC to “keep” his $2 million payday, which is still being withheld by the Nevada State Athletic Commission during its investigation.
Tukhugov (18-4) is from Chechnya, and is a member of Nurmagomedov’s team. He and McGregor (21-4) were caught on camera in a brief exchange during Saturday night’s brawl, which began when Nurmagomedov left the Octagon after the fight to confront McGregor’s corner.
Tukhugov posted a video on social media shortly after, saying he “slapped him as promised,” according to a translation by BloodyElbow.com.
Tukhugov was scheduled to face McGregor’s teammate Artem Lobov at the end of the month in a UFC bout. The UFC has not made any official announcement regarding his release.
The NSAC is expected to file complaints on Nurmagomedov and McGregor for their roles in the incident. They are facing potential fines and suspensions. There were no arrests made.