One of the most successful and yet, one of the most controversial figures in the sport of MMA, Conor McGregor was able to the pinnacle of the sport in a matter of years. He was the one who put it all on the line, he was the one who changed the landscape of an entire sport, he is the one whom people started calling the face of the fight game. The trailblazer, Conor McGregor’s rise to the top is magical, to say the least.
But where is that Conor now who called his shot and wrote his destiny in the most barbaric sport. Where is the Conor now who wrote history when he becomes the first-ever two-division champion? The rise and fall of Conor is one of the most thrilling stories in the sport of MMA. So let’s take a look back at all the setbacks Conor had through his journey so far.
In Dana White’s word “This is the most disgusting thing that has happened in the history of the company”. Well, pretty sure White was not expecting the brawl after the fight ended between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor.
It all started with McGregor’s teammate, Artem Lobov criticizing Khabib Nurmagomedov for pulling out of fights due to injuries and botched weight cuts. Lobov pointed out the times Nurmagomedov pulled out of the fights and the issues his Russian fans had to deal with because of that. He also called Nurmagomedov a coward for not honoring his obligations to the fans.
“Who is chicken here? Who is afraid? Conor shows up every time no matter what. He’s a true fighter. He’s a true champion. Champion isn’t just a belt around your waist. It’s a mentality, it’s your heart. Conor is a real champion, and Khabib is not even close. Did you see Conor pulling out of a fight even once? Everyone has injuries, everyone has problems making weight, but one is a champion and shows up no matter what, and the other one is a coward who pulls out every time.” said Lobov.
Well, Khabib Nurmagomedov did not appreciate the criticism from fellow Russian as he confronted him in the hotel ahead of UFC 223. Khabib was seen grabbing Lobov by his neck and asking him repeatedly:
“Don’t say my name, you understand me? You got it or not? I’m asking you. Say it to my face. You said I’m a p—y? Did you?”
Apart from Khabib, his whole teammate was also there with him surrounding Lobov. Upon knowing about the former two-division champion, Conor McGregor hopped on his private plane with his entire entourage and came to New York to confront Khabib Nurmagomedov.
It was the night of media day for UFC 223 at Barclays Center. After the event was over Khabib Nurmagomedov, a few other fighters and officials were on a bus when McGregor and his whole team showed up with some malicious intent. McGregor was seen trying to throw metal railing, trash can and steel chair at the bus before setting his eyes on a metal dolly. McGregor threw the dolly at the bus, breaking the glass on the window. UFC fighters Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg were severely injured and had to pull out off UFC 223 card. Other than that, former strawweight champion, Rose Namajunas was also shocked by the entire incident. That apart one UFC official broke his knuckle during the incident. The featherweight champion, Max Holloway described the whole incident by saying:
“I don’t think he really meant to break the bus [window] with the dolly. I think that he was shocked that he broke it because when I was watching, he actually picked up a metal trashcan, and he put it down, and he grabbed a plastic trashcan, and he threw that instead. That was after he threw the dolly. He was running with the barricade — he knows he was going to get stopped with the barricade.”
“Obviously, everybody is shaken up. When 30 thugs storm a building when these guys were all cutting weight and getting ready for a fight. This is the most disgusting thing that’s happened in the history of the company.” said Dana White.
Conor McGregor Sentenced for Bus Incident:
McGregor and teammate Cian Cowley turned themselves into the New York Police Department on the night of the incident and were released on $50,000 and $25,000 bond, respectively. The UFC fighter faced 12 criminal charges for the bus attack.
It was not the first time McGregor found himself dealing with legal issues for criminal behavior and it was not the last time either. McGregor pled guilty to one count of disorderly conduct and he was punished with 2 days of anger management and 5 days of community service. To everyone’s surprise, he did not receive any jail time or any criminal record.
This incident opened up a possibility for McGregor’s UFC return. In the end, Dana White booked a fight between McGregor and Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title at UFC 229. In fact, the video of this incident was repeatedly played during the promo of the fight.
The violent aftermath is an example of what might happen when trash talk goes too far during the fight promotion. The bad blood between McGregor and Nurmagomedov was something never seen before and fans were expecting a violent war between them inside the octagon. However, Khabib Nurmagoemdov dominated McGregor, winning the fight via submission in round 4. What happened next left the entire arena and the fans around the world shocked.
Khabib Nurmagomedov jumped over the ring and the officials at the cage side and landed in front of McGregor’s teammate Dillion Danis who was “allegedly” insulting Khabib’s religion while the fight was on progress. While Nurmagomedov was handling the business outside the octagon, his teammate, Zubaira Tukhugov and Abubakr Nurmagomedov attacked Conor McGregor who was inside the ring surrounded by officials. The situation was controlled after a few minutes, however, the damage was already done. Nevada State Athletic Commission fined Conor McGregor 50k dollar and Khabib Nurmagomedov 500k dollar for their behavior after the fight. UFC president, Dana White also made it clear that Zubaira Tukhugov who landed a punch on McGregor during the brawl inside the ring would never fight in UFC again. McGregor decided not to take charges for the attack on him inside the ring.
After the brawl in the post-fight interview, Khabib Nurmagomedov said:
“I’m a human being, but I don’t understand how people can talk about jumping on the cage when he talks about my religion, he talked about my country, he talks about my father and he comes to Brooklyn and he broke the bus and almost killed a couple of people. What about this?”
The controversies and troubles for Conor McGregor do not limit to the boundaries of UFC as the Notorious One has also caused disorder in the world of Bellator as well. While McGregor was attending a Bellator event to support his teammate, Charlie Ward he entered into the ring to celebrate with Ward even if the fight was not stopped by the referee, Marc Goddard.
At the 4 minutes 59 seconds of round 1, Ward’s opponent, John Redmond was hurt by the punches of Ward. However, the referee Marc Goddard had not stopped the fight in favor of Charlie Ward yet. While he was trying to separate the fighters for the rest time in between rounds, McGregor jumped over the octagon and started celebrating with Ward. When the referee tried to stop McGregor and continue the fight, McGregor shoved the referee and also knocked down already hurt John Redmond.
The situation got under control and McGregor left the ring, but he decided to come back again and climbed on top of the cage. While an official tried to stop him to do so, Mcgregor slapped the official. It is also to be noted that the referee, Marc
Later McGregor apologized for his actions saying:
“I sincerely apologize for my behavior at last weekend’s fight event in Dublin. While trying to support a loyal teammate and friend, I let my emotions get the best of me and acted out of line,”
Surprisingly, Conor McGregor did not have any trouble in this case neither from Bellator nor from UFC.
For a meaningful period, it seemed Conor McGregor and trouble could not stay apart as he again made the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Outside Fontainebleau, a Miami hotel and night club, McGregor was surrounded by fans who started taking pictures of him.
McGregor targeted one fan, smacked the phone off his hand and stomped into pieces. Later, McGregor was seen to take the phone with him as he went inside the hotel. Meanwhile, hotel security was trying to contain the victim.
“Last evening Conor McGregor was involved in a minor altercation involving a cell phone that resulted in a call to law enforcement. Mr. McGregor appreciates the response of law enforcement and pledges his full cooperation,” said McGregor’s lawyer, Sam Rabin.
The former UFC champion was arrested and charged with Strong Arm Robbery and Criminal Mischief, both felonies. McGregor agreed to go to the police station after the officials assured him that it won’t take more than one hour to resolve the issue. The criminal charge was later reduced to robbery by sudden snatching.
The alleged victim, Ahmed Abdirzak first filed a civil lawsuit of 15000 dollars. However, later he filed documents to dismiss the lawsuit. It is believed that McGregor and his team resolved the issue behind the scene with the victim.
After his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor would stay inactive for a meaningful period. However, he managed to make headlines for all the wrong reasons. One incident from the past came back to haunt the Irishman when a video of him hitting an old man in an Irish bar surfaced on the internet.
McGregor entered the pub and offered to buy the patrons shots of his own proper 12 whiskeys. However, one person refused the cup placed in front of him twice. This made the Notorious One lose his temper and after a small verbal altercation, he swung at the old man. Later it was revealed that the old man told: “I don’t want that shit, I don’t want your drink” to McGregor when the former UFC champion offered him the drink.
As a result of the former UFC champion was charged with assault. The charges carried a potential penalty of up to six months in prison and a fine of 1,500 Euros, or both. However, McGregor ended up facing a fine of 1000 Euros.
Conor McGregor found himself in trouble again when a woman claimed that she has given birth to McGregor’s daughter. Terri Murray, 26, stated that nine months after sleeping with Conor during the 2017 Grand National she gave birth to Clodagh. Miss Murray even challenged McGregor to take the paternity test and prove the child is not his.
The whole situation was a bit confusing. McGregor even announced his retirement from the sport during that period. The reason for Conor retiring might have something to do with his attempt to leverage his positioning in the negotiation with UFC. But it did raise a few eyebrows when Conor announced retirement.
In the end, Conor took a DNA test which revealed that he is not the father of the child. McGregor had stated earlier that Miss Murray slept with one of his friends on that night and the DNA test attested Conor’s statement.
“To conclusively end any and all erroneous media reports, Conor McGregor took a DNA test recently which confirmed to all parties that he is not the father of the child in Liverpool.” Conor’s spokesperson stated to end all the speculations.
When you talk about rivalries in the sport you can not simply miss the bad blood between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz.
In the first encounter, Nate Diaz shocked the world by beating McGregor. However, the rivalry did not end there as they were set to square off again in the main event of UFC 202. And the chaos that broke out during the press conference just made the fans even more excited for the fight night.
During the pre-fight press conference, Conor was late to the event, which eventually led Nate Diaz to walk off from the venue right before Conor arrives on the stage. During Diaz’s walk-off, both teams threw water bottles at each other. McGregor picked up monster energy cans from the table and threw it at Diaz’s team.
Initially, Conor McGregor was fined 150,000 dollars for the incident during the pre-fight press conference and Conor reacted to the huge fine in this fashion:
“Whatever, it is what it is. Good luck trying to get it. I don’t see Nevada in my future, for the foreseeable future is how I see it. I’m free to do what I want.”
Later Nevada Athletic Commission(NAC) clarified that the fine had been misinterpreted. NAC was supposed to get half of the 150k dollars and the rest half represented the value of a public service announcement that Conor would have to do. However, in the end, the fine was reduced to 25,000 dollars and 25 hours of community service.
From a young kid from the street of Dublin to the most prized fighter in the history of a sport, and from apologizing to absolutely nobody to apologizing to everybody, this has been the story of Conor McGregor. However, one thing that can not be taken away from McGregor no matter what is the fact that he never shies away from a fight. But the sport has changed a lot in his absence. Can he get back into the octagon despite all the controversies clouding his personal life and prove that he is still the best fighter?
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