Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov were each issued fines and suspensions on Wednesday by the Nevada State Athletic Commission but both could be eligible again for UFC 236 in April.
Officials voted to give McGregor a six-month ban and NZD$73,000 fine while Nurmagomedov received a nine-month ban and NZD$732,00 fine for their actions in a post-fight brawl after Khabib's submission victory at UFC 229 last October in Las Vegas.
Nurmagomedov, a 30-year-old Russian, can have three months of his suspension reduced if he cooperates in the filming and distributing of an anti-bullying public service announcement.
In each case, the ban was retroactive to October 6, 2018, the date of their much-anticipated Vegas showdown.
That would enable McGregor, and Khabib if he films the PSA, to be eligible for UFC 236 on April 13, a week after their bans conclude.
Khabib's fine was paid from the portion of his $2 million prize money being held by the commission.
"Politics forever," Khabib tweeted shortly after the punishments were imposed. Neither McGregor nor Khabib attended the hearing.
Nurmagomedov's manager Ali Abdelaziz told MMA journalist Ariel Helwani he believed the length of the suspensions was fine, but the discrepancy in how much each fighter had been fined was not.
"I don't think it's fair. Khabib gets $500k and Conor gets $50k? I think it's bulls***," Abdelaziz said.
According to Helwani, Nurmagomedov will reportedly pay his own fine, $280,000 for his lawyer and will foot the bill for two of his teammates, who were both hit with $35,000 penalties — meaning he will fork out over $AUD1 million in total.
Like Abdelaziz, UFC podcaster Luke Thomas also hit out at the fine.
The NSAC was critical of the pre-fight trash-talk between McGregor and Nurmagomedov but Thomas and others said it would be out of line for the commission to try and regulate such behaviour that happens outside the Octagon.
Abubakar Nurmagomedov and another Khabib teammate who became involved in the melee, Zubaira Tukhugov, each received 12-month bans to go along with their $35,000 fines.
Nurmagomedov was punished for leaving the Octagon after the fight and hitting or trying to strike multiple people, among them McGregor's cornerman.
Ireland's McGregor was punished for climbing the fence and refusing to come down as well as exchanging punches with Abubakar Nurmagomedov, a fighter and cousin of Khabib.