Conor McGregor just can’t keep his name out of the headlines.
Despite not being a Bellator employee, McGregor was present at Bellator 187 on the weekend because he was watching teammate Charlie Ward compete. When Ward finished off opponent John Redmond in the opening round via knock out, McGregor just couldn’t contain his joy. He quickly climbed over the cage and gave Ward a celebratory hug.
Just one problem: McGregor was not officially listed as one of Ward’s cornerman. He was there basically as a paying fan and/or civilian. So when referee Marc Goddard attempted to get control of the situation, McGregor took exception and shoved the veteran MMA official. It wasn’t violent or damaging, but it violates a golden rule — you never, ever, (ever!), put your hand on the ref.
Here’s the chaos:
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) November 10, 2017
McGregor is likely to face serious punishment from various Athletic Commissions, who generally recognize punishments laid down by other governing bodies. In this case, Bellator 187 was regulated by the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, with president of Association of Boxing Commission Mike Mazzulli overseeing the event.
Mazzuli issued the following statement after the event:
“Mr. Conor McGregor, who was a spectator at the time, disrupted the event by scaling the cage prior to the conclusion of the bout. Mr. McGregor’s conduct jeopardized the health and safety of the bout participants by delaying necessary medical attention to the fighters that were injured during the round. In addition, Mr. McGregor assaulted Referee Mark [sic] Goddard and a Bellator staff. The MTDAR has been in consultation with the upper management of the UFC regarding Mr. McGregor’s inappropriate and unacceptable behavior.”
So that may have already been bad for McGregor, but Mazzuli appeared on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani this week to futher discuss the incident, and he revealed that the UFC had tentatively scheduled McGregor to fight on December 30, but were now pulling him off the card entirely.
“After the event, I had some executives from UFC contact me within two hours after what occurred. They basically said to me that it was completely unacceptable in their eyes and that they will be doing something. 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 UFC to some extent for doing that.”
On the other hand, McGregor’s statement was summed up in this (now deleted) tweet:
— Justin Golightly (@SecretMovesMMA) November 13, 2017
McGregor was likely to face interim lightweight champ Tony Ferguson to unify the titles at UFC 219 on December 30, the UFC’s annual blockbuster card close to New Years. The company hadn’t announced the fight yet, so it’s likely that the contracts weren’t finalized yet (or they were waiting to make a big splash with the announcement).
Either way, it’s now likely that the UFC won’t try to book McGregor’s next fight until they find out what kind of fallout comes from his incident.