UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov issued a lengthy statement Thursday morning defending his teammate involved in the melee that broke out after his victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 229 on Saturday.
In an Instagram post, the undefeated fighter offered a defense for his teammate Zubaira Tukhugov's post-fight actions after president Dana White said Tukhugov would never again fight for the UFC.
"I would like to address UFC. Why didn't you fire anyone when their team attacked the bus and injured a couple of people?" Nurmagomedov wrote. "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, Zubaira 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.
"And one more thing, you can keep my money that you are withholding. You are pretty busy with that, I hope it won't get stuck in your throat. We have defended our honor and this is the most important thing. We intend to go to the end. #Brothers."
Nurmagomedov sparked the post-fight scuffle after defeating McGregor when he jumped over the Octagon fence and charged at McGregor's teammate Dillon Danis. Video footage appears to show McGregor punching a member of Nurmagomedov's team during the incident. The Irishman was then attacked by two men who jumped into the Octagon, one of whom is believed to be Tukhugov.
Tukhugov was scheduled to fight Artem Lobov, a teammate of McGregor's, at UFC Fight Night 138 on Oct. 27.
The UFC has yet to officially announce discipline for any of the parties involved.