McGre­gor faces ban for ‘fight­ing’ of­fi­cial

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Basketball - By Gareth A Davies in Dublin

Conor McGre­gor faces a hefty ban, a sus­pen­sion or li­cence re­moval af­ter he was em­broiled in an al­ter­ca­tion with a ref­eree and threw a punch at an­other of­fi­cial in­side the cage at the Bel­la­tor MMA 187 event in Dublin on Fri­day.

The two-weight UFC cham­pion was at the ri­val fight league event to sup­port team-mate Char­lie Ward, who has worked as his body­guard, as he took on John Red­mond.

Be­cause he is not a li­censed cor­ner­man, McGre­gor was not per­mit­ted to en­ter the cage, but dur­ing the bout he stood in front of the me­dia seats bel­low­ing in­struc­tions to Ward.

As the fight ended in the fi­nal sec­onds of the first round, with Ward knock­ing out Red­mond, McGre­gor ran from the first row and climbed into the cage to cel­e­brate. Ref­eree Marc God­dard pushed him away, or­der­ing him out of the oc­tagon.

It sparked a melee as McGre­gor pushed God­dard, shout­ing and point­ing at him be­fore be­ing es­corted out. Sec­onds later, McGre­gor then ran to the other side of the cage, and climbed onto the top, with a Bel­la­tor of­fi­cial at­tempt­ing to block the Ir­ish­man from en­ter­ing. McGre­gor threw a left hand at the of­fi­cial, be­lieved to be Bel­la­tor lo­gis­tics chief Michael John­son, which landed on his face.

Mike Maz­zulli, the ad hoc com­mis­sioner at the Dublin event and a pow­er­ful fig­ure as pres­i­dent of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Box­ing Com­mis­sions, yes­ter­day stated that McGre­gor had “as­saulted Ref­eree Mark God­dard and a Bel­la­tor staff ” and urged the Com­mis­sions in the United States to study McGre­gor’s “in­ap­pro­pri­ate and un­ac­cept­able be­hav­iour.”

“The MTDAR [Mo­he­gan Tribe Depart­ment of Ath­letic Reg­u­la­tion] has been in con­sul­ta­tion with the up­per man­age­ment of the UFC re­gard­ing Mr. McGre­gor’s in­ap­pro­pri­ate and un­ac­cept­able be­hav­iour,” he said. “The MTDAR has also con­tacted mem­bers of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Box­ing Com­mis­sion­ers that have li­censed Mr. McGre­gor in their ju­ris­dic­tions to in­form them of Mr. McGre­gor’s be­hav­iour.”

It is the lat­est drama in which McGre­gor has seemed un­able to con­trol him­self. He was fined in Las Ve­gas last year for throw­ing a wa­ter bot­tle at a news con­fer­ence, earn­ing a fine from the Ne­vada State Ath­letic Com­mis­sion.

McGre­gor’s lat­est be­hav­iour is likely to have se­ri­ous con­se­quences. Footage of the in­ci­dent spread quickly on so­cial me­dia, while an­other video showed McGre­gor an­gry at the ref­eree dur­ing the fight. There is his­tory be­tween the pair. God­dard rep­ri­manded McGre­gor dur­ing his team-mate Artem Lobov’s fight with An­dre Fili in Poland last month.

God­dard, one of the sport’s most ex­pe­ri­enced and re­spected of­fi­cials, said he was “sad­dened” by Fri­day’s events.

Yes­ter­day, he tweeted: “I op­er­ate with in­tegrity, be­lief and val­ues. I hold MMA in a deep rooted place in my life and have con­sid­ered my­self most for­tu­nate to have done so for so long.”

McGre­gor, who six years ago was an ap­pren­tice plumber on the dole, has en­joyed a stel­lar rise, win­ning both the UFC feath­er­weight and light­weight belts while earn­ing a for­tune. It led to a box­ing match with Floyd May­weather in Au­gust, which he lost, but for which he was re­port­edly paid around $100 mil­lion (£76 mil­lion).

Cage brawl: Conor McGre­gor threw a punch at lo­gis­tics chief af­ter his friend’s bout in Dublin

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