At a Monday hearing, members of the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) unanimously voted to fine UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor five percent ($150,000) of his $3 million show purse for his UFC 202 against Nate Diaz and also give him 50 hours of community service due to his role in the now “Notorious” water bottle/monster can throwing incident between himself and his opponent’s camp that caused an Aug. 17 press conference at the Copperfield Theater located inside the MGM Grand to grind to a halt. The fine was six times greater than what it was expected to be. The Nevada attorney general had suggested the guideline of a $25,000 fine and 25 hours of community service, however, the commission decided to exceed that amount. McGregor, although not physically present at the hearing, did call in via telephone for the preceding.
Re-live the incident here:
Initially, after the fine was handed down McGregor tweeted just one sentence regarding the situation:
I get fined more than these bums get paid
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 10, 2016
Today the champion lashed out at the NAC with his usual bravado in an exclusive Rolling Stone interview.
In the interview McGregor was quoted as saying:
“I didn’t think they would even go that route because I didn’t think this was like a real thing. Are they going to come and arrest me or what the fuck is that? I wanted to give them the respect and I felt they would have respected that but they didn’t. So, whatever. It is what it is. Good luck trying to get it. They wanted me to pay them and work for them at the same time. How can I not respect that? Good luck to them.”
As the interview went further along McGregor reiterated the stance that he took earlier this week on no longer fighting in Nevada due to the fine.
“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…New York, New York. That’s what I think.”
McGregor is, of course, scheduled to headline UFC 205 in a lightweight title bout against champion Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden in New York City on November 12th.
Given the leverage that McGregor appears to have at the moment, it would not be out of the realm of possibilities for him to stay true to that promise. When UFC president Dana White, who called the fine “insane,” appeared on the “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” earlier this week he revealed that the only reason that the second fight against Diaz took place was because Conor had insisted that it did. White stated that he did not feel that the fight made sense and that he thought that the bout taking place at 170 lbs, a division in which neither man has plans to compete at in the future, made even less sense.
The NAC could have made a very costly mistake in deciding to flex their hypothetical muscle on Monday. When McGegor fights in Las Vegas it generates a substantial amount of money for both the city and the state. His last 4 fights hold the number 2 through 5 spots for the highest gates for an MMA event in Nevada’s history. Those numbers do not even take into account taxes paid on hotel nights that were booked and the tourism dollars spent because of the those fights.
Nate Diaz has yet to be handed his punishment for his involvement in the incident. His lawyer asked for and was granted a continuance, causing his hearing regarding the matter to be pushed back to a later date. Diaz has already avoided a fine by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency after they investigated the fighter for using a vape pen he said contained cannabis oil during UFC 202’s post-fight press conference. Given the fine bestowed upon McGregor, it appears unlikely that Diaz’s luck in regards to fines will continue in this matter.
Dana White gives an update on the lightweight title picture
When it comes to the lightweight division there is always a lot of talk with very little clarification. But now it seems Dana White has had enough of waiting for champion Conor McGregor and plans to move on in his absence.
“The Notorious” Conor McGregor won the UFC lightweight title back in November 2016 at UFC 205 where he became the first fighter to hold two belts simultaneously, however, he has not competed in MMA since.
Speaking on Sunday night’s after UFC Fight Night St. Louis UFC President Dana White said “Conor has said he is thinking about coming back in September if he comes back in September that’s almost two years, that can’t happen. It’s not fair to everybody else. Love Conor, respect Conor, love everything he’s done for this company, everybody knows that I say it all the time. The belt would have to move on.”
White also spoke about the two men that would fight for the lightweight belt saying “You do Khabib versus Tony, we’re working on that fight now and if and when Conor comes back he would get the first crack at the title.”
Then when presenter Karyn Bryant pushed for clarification and asked: “So you’re saying that Conor could possibly be stripped of his title?” Dana responded without hesitation “absolutely”.
"Conor has said he's thinking about coming back in September. If he comes back in September, that's almost two years…that can't happen." — @danawhite
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) January 15, 2018
The news will excite UFC fans across the globe who have been clamoring for the Ferguson vs Khabib matchup which they have been denied on three separate occasions. No date was confirmed for the potential matchup but rumors have been circulating that the UFC is targeting UFC 223 in April.
Conor McGregor reacts to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s win at UFC 219
On Saturday night the world watched as Khabib Nurmagomedov dismantled the striking expert Edson Barboza at UFC 219. The reactions were filled with praise for the undefeated Russian fighter. Media members and fans alike were calling Nurmagomedov one of the best lightweights in the world, but there is one man the world was waiting to hear from, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. McGregor was silent following the fight between Nurmagomedov and Barboza, that is until Monday morning when he took to Twitter to state his opinion about the Number one contender.
That Dagestani was dog shit the other night you's are all nuts. Game full of sloppy bums asking to be slept. Pay me my worth and Kings back.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 1, 2018
Truly truly truly get on your fucking knees and beg me. Otherwise I don't give a bollox.
My whiskey is out this year and thats Diddy bread.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 1, 2018
“Truly truly truly get on your fucking knees and beg me,” McGregor wrote on Twitter. “Otherwise, I don’t give a bollox. My whiskey is out this year and that’s Diddy bread.” The whiskey that McGregor is referring to is his very own grand that he announced would be coming out following his loss to Floyd Mayweather this past August.
Rumors about McGregor’s return have ranged from him retiring from fighting to live a life of wealth with his family, to expect his return to the UFC this summer. No one really knows if McGregor will ever defend his UFC lightweight belt, but if he is to do so UFC President Dana White has said that it will be against interim champion Tony Ferguson.
Ferguson was also seeking a fight with Nurmagomedov prior to winning the interim belt against Kevin Lee. It is entirely possible that we will see these two battle for the interim title in the octagon before we see the return of Conor McGregor. Of course, these days there are no guarantees in regards to title contention, McGregor and his camp have publically stated that they would like to face Nurmagomedov in his home country of Russia.
Conor McGregor has ‘Every intention of fighting in 2018’
Despite being inactive since his historic boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August, Conor McGregor is never far from the headlines. Recently his out of cage antics have got people questioning if he’ll ever be back.
Thankfully the UFC lightweight champion appears to have cleared up any rumors about his fighting career.
Speaking to his sponsor Betsafe, the “Notorious” Conor McGregor said “My focus is getting back into the right ring or octagon. 2017 was historic. I have transcended both the sport of MMA and boxing. At this stage of my career, as it has been for the majority of my UFC career, potential opponents must lobby for fights with me. We could see Conor McGregor anywhere. I run the fight game, the fashion game, the whiskey game or whatever the next business endeavor might be”.
McGregor added, “I have every intention of fighting in 2018 if my compensation and business development endeavors accurately reflect my influence on combat sports.”
This comes just two weeks after UFC President Dana White told reporters “Conor might never fight again. The guy’s got $100 (expletive) million. I’ve got guys that made less than that and were lawyers and went to school their whole life and quit working.”
White went on to say “Try to get up and get punched in the face every day when you’ve got $100 million in the bank. Money changes everything with a lot of people.”
White also told reporters that the “Notorious one”, “can’t be paid enough money” and that he is “worth every penny and more.” McGregor’s recent statement suggests he knows that and won’t be back till his demands are met.
The UFC lightweight division has been stalled in the absence of the champion McGregor and now the interim champion Tony Ferguson has undergone surgery. The UFC has been known the remove belts from fighters who have been delayed for extended amounts of time, this would be highly unlikely with the popularity of McGregor.
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