McGre­gor freed on bail after UFC melee

Sunday News - - BOX­ING/UFC - DES BIELER AND MATT BON­ES­TEEL

CONOR McGre­gor re­sponded to UFC pres­i­dent Dana White’s de­ci­sion to strip him of his light­weight belt in typ­i­cally un­der­stated fash­ion: by tweet­ing an un­print­able in­sult, crash­ing a pre-fight me­dia event in Brook­lyn, New York, chuck­ing a bar­ri­cade, and prompt­ing a scene of gen­eral may­hem that left at least one fighter in­jured and or­gan­is­ers stunned.

For his trou­ble, McGre­gor landed in some.

McGre­gor turned him­self into po­lice on Fri­day and was ar­rested and charged with three counts of as­sault and one count of crim­i­nal mis­chief, after his role in the fra­cas that left UFC fighter Michael Chiesa in hos­pi­tal with a fa­cial lac­er­a­tion.

He ap­peared in court in New York yes­ter­day and was freed on $50,000 bail, Reuters re­ported.

MMA Fight­ing re­ports that Cian Cow­ley, McGre­gor’s SBG team-mate, was also charged with one count of as­sault and one count of crim­i­nal mis­chief over the inci- AP dent. Three matches sched­uled for to­day’s UFC 223 card have been scrapped be­cause of the fra­cas. Chiesa, who was to fight An­thony Pet­tis, was cut in the face and was in hos­pi­tal. He has been deemed un­fit to fight by the New York State Ath­letic Com- mis­sion and the UFC med­i­cal team. Ray Borg, a fly­weight who was sched­uled to bat­tle Bran­don Moreno, was also deemed un­fit to fight after suf­fer­ing corneal abra­sions. Artem Lobov, a McGre­gor ally who was ap­par­ently part of the in­ci­dent, was pulled from the card.

It was un­clear whether the in­ci­dent was prompted by White strip­ping McGre­gor of his belt, or by pre­vi­ous bad feel­ings be­tween McGre­gor’s camp and Khabib Nur­magome­dov, sched­uled to fight Max Hol­loway for McGre­gor’s va­cated belt in the main event. Nur­magome­dov was filmed in a con­fronta­tion with Lobov, the McGre­gor ally, ear­lier this week.

On Fri­day, McGre­gor and his en­tourage ap­proached a large ve­hi­cle full of fight­ers that was leav­ing Bar­clays Cen­ter in Brook­lyn after the me­dia event, ac­cord­ing to MMA Fight­ing’s Ariel Hel­wani and videos posted of the in­ci­dent. ‘‘Chairs were thrown through the van win­dow and one pas­sen­ger on the van was in­jured,’’ Hel­wani re­ported, in an ap­par­ent ref­er­ence to Chiesa.

‘‘Conor went ba­nanas and put a beat­ing on the van that we were in,’’ Chiesa’s coach Rick Lit­tle told MMAjunkie. ‘‘Mike’s cut up now. He’s got marks on him, for sure. Ev­ery­thing hap­pened so fast, it was just like we got jumped.’’

White called the in­ci­dent the most de­spi­ca­ble thing in UFC his­tory.

‘‘It’s dis­gust­ing. And I don’t think any­body is go­ing to be huge McGre­gor fans after this. I don’t know if he’s on drugs, but to come and do this and act like this?’’ The Wash­ing­ton Post

Conor Mc­Gre­gor is es­corted to his court ap­pear­ance in New York.

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