Conor McGregor didn’t take too kindly to UFC president Dana White stating that he will no longer be the lightweight champion when the Octagon door closes for the fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Max Holloway at UFC 223. The winner of that fight, White said, will be the undisputed lightweight champion.
McGregor instantly took to Twitter to air out his grievances with the announcement.
As if that wasn’t enough, McGregor popped up in New York on Thursday and crashed the UFC’s media day to assert himself. Numerous reports from those in attendance state that McGregor had an altercation with a few of the fighters and then things escalated.
As seen in the video captured by Felice Herrig, McGregor launches a guardrail and chairs at a van that was departing the Barclays Center. McGregor is seen shouting at the van — which allegedly had Khabib Nurmagomedov and his team in it — and demanding someone to get out.
Felice Herrig captured part of the ruckus caused behind the scenes when Conor McGregor and his team arrived. This is from her Instagram account pic.twitter.com/9R6T2eNNTs
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) April 5, 2018
This could be tied directly to Nurmagomedov’s hotel altercation with McGregor teammate Artem Lobov that took place at a hotel earlier in the week. It doesn’t help that Nurmagomedov is in position to take the title that McGregor won back in November of 2016 against Eddie Alvarez. However, McGregor has yet to defend that title and instead opted to compete in boxing match against Floyd Mayweather. With no idea of when (or if) McGregor would return to the UFC, White held an interim title match between Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee at UFC 216 last October. Ferguson won the title and was set to defend it against Nurmagomedov, but was forced to pull out of the fight with an injury less than a week before UFC 223. UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway stepped up and will now face Nurmagomedov for the title that McGregor has been stripped of.
As for the altercation, MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani reported that Michael Chiesa, who is slated to compete at UFC 223, suffered a laceration during McGregor’s assault on the van.
McGregor departed the scene in a van along with his team before authorities and Dana White arrived.
— Justin Golightly (@SecretMovesMMA) April 5, 2018
UPDATE (4:50 p.m. ET):
Dana White hosted a scrum to discuss the McGregor situation and called it the worst day he’s experienced in the history of the UFC.
“This has never happened in my history of being with the UFC,” White said. “What happened today was criminal, disgusting, despicable and we as an organization need to make sure this never happens again.”
The ripple effect has spread to other fighters competing on the card. Artem Lobov, who was scheduled to face Alex Caceres, has been removed due to his involvement. Michael Chiesa’s status for his Saturday fight with Anthony Pettis is also up in the air due to injuries he received after a thrown dolly shattered a window on the bus, resulting in multiple cuts that sent Chiesa to the hospital. Rose Namajunas, who defends her UFC women’s strawweight title against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the co-main event, was on the bus during the attack and walked back to the hotel after being shaken up by what transpired.
White suggested that there will by many lawsuits coming at McGregor after this incident. His relationship with the Irishman is also fractured.
“Not good,” White said when asked about how his relationship with Conor is after the incident. “I think after this disgusting and despicable move, everybody’s relationship with Conor will change. … This is the type of bad decision you make that turns people against you.”
Although it’s too soon for White to say exactly how McGregor will be punished, it’s safe to say that he’s extremely disappointed by the actions of arguably the biggest star in combat sports.
“If you don’t like Khabib (Nurmagomedov), fight him. Do whatever you want within the limits of the rules of fighting,” White said. “But you want to grab 30 friends and do what you did today? It’s disgusting. I don’t think people will be huge McGregor fans after this. I don’t know if he’s on drugs or what his deal is. He just had a kid and this is how he acts?”
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