UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor has issued an apology following his actions at Bellator 187 in Dublin, Ireland over the weekend. The popular mixed martial artist stormed the cage following the victory of his friend and teammate, Charlie Ward, who won the bout against John Redmond via TKO.
McGregor’s controversial actions involved not just scaling the cage fence, but slapping a Bellator official while he sat astride the fence, as well as pushing referee Marc Goddard in the back as he attempted to administer care to Redmond, who was still down on the canvas as a result of the TKO. The Irishman had previously gotten into an argument with Goddard at the UFC Gdansk event where Goddard had demanded McGregor return to his seat, instead of attempting to coach his teammate Artem Lobov in his bout against Andre Fili.
Mike Mazzulli of the Association of Boxing Commission has stated that the UFC would be punishing the mixed martial arts icon for his actions, with the UFC reportedly pulling McGregor from the marquee UFC 219 card on New Years Eve.
No other punishments have been announced so far, but McGregor did release an apology for the controversy, but only after first having made a quick post on Twitter and then deleting it.
The first reaction by McGregor read as follows:
“Bloke KO’d on floor bout a minute straight and ref trying to say, ‘Fight’s not over, Conor.’ That’s when I lost it. F*ck yous all.”
McGregor’s second apology is certainly a little more serious and long form, but it still seems like it will inflame tensions with Marc Goddard, who he refers to as “Gonard”, which could be referencing a certain part of the male genitalia. Also of note is that the picture accompanying the statement is one of McGregor simply smiling at the camera, which certainly seems a little odd for a post that is trying to apologise for his behaviour. In any case, we’re sure the apology won’t be the last thing we hear regarding this controversy.
‘I sincerely apologise for my behavior at last weekends’ fight event in Dublin,’ McGregor wrote.
‘While trying to support a loyal team-mate and friend, I let my emotions get the best of me and acted out of line… The referee Marc Gonard (Goddard) was making a horrendous decision in trying to pick an unconscious fighter up off the floor and force the fight to continue into the second round. Even against the wishes of the said fighter’s coach. The fight was over.’
The UFC had previously been in conversation with McGregor about unifying his lightweight championship with interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson. Whether or not this will now occur in the near future remains in doubt, with this most recent controversy seeming likely to delay McGregor’s return to the cage.
Full apology below:
I sincerely apologize for my behavior at last weekends 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. As a multiple weight UFC champion, executive producer, role model and public figure, I must hold myself to a higher standard. The referee Marc Godard was making a horrendous decision in trying to pick an unconscious fighter up off the floor and force the fight to continue into the second round. Even against the wishes of the said fighters coach. The fight was over. After witnessing my fighter in a fight where the worst happened and the opponent passed away from his injuries on the night, I thought the worst was about to happen again, and I lost it and over reacted. I am sorry to everyone. I sincerely apologize to the Director of the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, Mike Mazzulli, all the officials and staff working the event, Andy Ryan and his fighter John, two stonch ones that put up a great fight every time. That side will always have my respect, and lastly every one of my fans. I love yous all! I’ve always learned from my mistakes and this will be no different.