The commissioner overseeing the Bellator 187 event in Dublin, where UFC champion Conor McGregor scaled the cage and interfered with the outcome of a teammate's bout, on Monday stated that the UFC has already sanctioned McGregor by pulling him from its year-end event.
McGregor was caught on video jumping into the cage at the end of the first round of his SBG Ireland teammate Charlie Ward's bout before exchanging words with and shoving referee Marc Goddard. After exiting the cage, he again jumped up on the fencing, slapping a Bellator official before exiting the arena.
He basically went full-on WWE. The problem being, of course, this is mixed martial arts not professional wrestling.
Though he already issued a statement about the incident to MMAWeekly.com, Mike Mazzulli, the president of the Association of Boxing Commissions and director of the Mohegan Tribe Depart of Athletic Regulation, joined The MMA Hour on Monday, where he delved a little deeper into the incident, saying that while he believes the UFC is taking action against its champion, he also plans to consult his attorneys to see if he has grounds for further sanctions.
“I had some executives from the UFC contact me within 2 hours of what occurred. They basically said to me that is completely unacceptable in their eyes and that they will be doing something about it. They did inform me that he was set to be on the Dec. 30 card and he will not be on it. So, I do commend the UFC to some extent for doing that,” Mazzulli said, later confirming that UFC officials told him McGregor had been scheduled to fight at UFC 219 on Dec. 30, despite public perception being quite different.
According to MMAWeekly.com sources, McGregor had never come to terms or even verbally accepted any bout for UFC 219, although UFC president Dana White had publicly targeted McGregor vs. Tony Ferguson for the year-end event. In fact, UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley on Saturday night tipped his hand, saying on a UFC Fight Night broadcast that he might defend his belt by year's end.
There had already been speculation that the UFC had shifted away from a McGregor return for the Dec. 30 event and had instead been focusing on Woodley for the UFC 219 headliner, although nothing has been announced.
Regardless of what the UFC allegedly told Mazzulli and what else the promotion might do to reprimand McGregor, who could be in violation of the company's Athlete Code of Conduct, the ABC president isn't letting the matter simply fade away.
After handling regulation of the Bellator 187 event in Dublin, Mazzulli is now in Israel to oversee the promotion's Bellator 188 event on Thursday before returning to the United States, where he intends to consult with his attorneys. about potential further action he might be able to take.
“I may not be done with what I’m doing. I need to speak to my attorneys,” said Mazzulli. “If Mr. McGregor was licensed at Mohegan and he did this at another commission overseas, I would suspend him indefinitely, and I would require for him to come to a hearing and explain himself.
“I’m a policy guy. I don’t care if you’re a kid that has his first pro debut or if you’re Conor McGregor, you follow policy and you follow it to the tee. If you don’t, you’re in fault. You have the right to be sanctioned.”
McGregor's only public comment after the fight was a defiant tweet that he deleted a short time after its initial posting.
UFC officials have yet to respond to multiple requests for comment on the situation.
Related: Watch the latest episode of the go90 original series ”Why We Fight“