McGregor Melee shakes up UFC
April 5, 2018
By Brian Edwards
Apparently livid about a minor incident between Khabib Nurmagomedov and members of his team with his teammate Artem Lobov at a Brooklyn hotel earlier this week, Conor McGregor rented a private plane along with more than a dozen others and headed from Ireland to New York at some point Wednesday.
When McGregor and his crew arrived at Barclays Center on Thursday, they were clearly hell bent on a showdown with Nurmagomedov and his people. The mandatory media event for all 26 fighters on the 13-fight card had just wrapped up. Fighters along with members of their respective camps were in buses in the loading dock about to head back to the hotel.
At this point, McGregor and Co. made their way into this area and figured out which bus Nurmagomedov and his team were on. This bus also included women’s strawweight champion ‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas, lightweight contender Michael Chiesa and many others, including UFC employees.
Video clips have emerged of McGregor throwing a dolly through the bus that instantly broke a window. He subsequently attempted to grab a guard rail and throw it at the bus before those efforts were thwarted by security officials. Other members of his entourage are seen throwing other items at the bus.
According to multiple reports, Chiesa suffered multiple cuts to his face and head. He was treated at a hospital and as of early Thursday night, all indications were that he was continuing to try to cut and weight and planned on fighting.
Namajunas exited the bus, was reportedly “super upset” and walked back to the hotel in the cold on her own. Lobov was a part of the McGregor Clan and he’s been yanked from the card in which he was facing Alex Caceres in the UFC FightPass headliner. It was unclear whether the promotion would be seeking a last-minute replacement for ‘Bruce Leeroy’ to take on Saturday night.
Dana White had a short media scrum following the incident where he took a few questions.
White said, “What happened here today was Conor and approximately 20 guys were let in the doors by the MacLife guys, who were credentialed here. They stormed the building. They started to attack the buses, started throwing trash cans, dollies. One of our employees had one of his knuckles broken. This is the most disgusting thing that’s ever happened in the history of the company. There’s a warrant out for Conor McGregor’s arrest. His plane can’t leave the state of New York. He’s going to be sued beyond belief. This was a real bad career move for him. This was a disgusting, despicable move. The worst part is that there were women on the bus, and these goons are throwing bike racks through the windows of the bus.
“I don’t know if he’s on drugs or what his deal is. But to come and do this and act like this…You’re talking about a guy who has a baby. He just had a kid. This is how you’re acting? You have a son at home. Anyway…What happened today was criminal. It makes me sick. We as an organization have to make sure this never happens again.”
Nate Diaz offered jabs at both McGregor and Nurmagomedov:
MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani caught up with Nurmagomedov early Thursday evening. The unbeaten contender who will fight Max Holloway for the 155-pound strap on Saturday had this to say, “I am laughing inside. Your broke windown? Why? Come inside. You know UFC don’t let you come inside. If you real gangster why don’t you come inside?
“This is big history gangster place, Brooklyn. You want to talk to me? Send me location. We have to talk? I am gonna come, no problem. I grew up like this. I don’t grow up throwing chairs at window. This is not my bus.
“To be honest, I don’t want him to go to jail. We have to fight. If we have to fight, let’s fight. Please, we have to fix this. Me and you. One-on-one. You want 10-on-10? OK.
“I give his whole team slap and no one say anything. He come with media, with cameras when I’m alone. Of course I want to go outside but they don’t let me leave the bus. He knows this. They don’t do nothing. I’m here.”
I’ve been saying for years that Nurmagomedov is McGregor’s nightmare matchup. I’m of the opinion that McGregor knows this. Hell, for all we know, McGregor might prefer going to jail than stepping into the Octagon with ‘The Eagle.’
Depending on how serious the multiple criminal charges McGregor will be looking at, his visa to enter the United States could also be in jeopardy. Whatever the case, he created a slew of headaches for himself and burned all sorts of bridges with fans, fighters and perhaps most importantly, with Dana White and the UFC (although when everything dies down, we certainly can see the UFC and McGregor doing business again, but it would be shocking if that's anytime in 2018).
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards
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