Conor McGregor was in attendance at UFC Fight Night 118 on Saturday in Gdansk, Poland, to support teammate Artem Lobov, but got rebuked by the referee.
As Lobov was fighting a losing battle against Andre Fili, McGregor was stalking Octagonside, yelling to his teammate. Partway through the fight, however, referee Marc Goddard ordered McGregor to move away from the Octagon and return to his seat.
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Goddard later spoke to MMAFighting, explaining that his reason for casting McGregor away was because it was giving Lobov an unfair advantage. It didn’t matter to Goddard that McGregor is the UFC’s biggest star, he wasn’t going to allow the Irishman any special privilege, particularly when it could affect the fight.
“The reason I interjected is because Artem gets a fourth cornerman cage side giving instruction,” Goddard told MMAFighting. “That’s not allowed. Imagine had Conor talked him through a fight-ending sequence. Then what?
“Conor was basically acting like a fourth cornerman,” he continued. “Walking around the cageside wherever and whenever he wanted. When Fili took down Artem, Conor was right there. That’s simply not fair and not allowed. I won’t have it. He can’t do as he pleases.”
Of course, Goddard explained, if McGregor had remained at his seat, stood up and shouted the same things to Lobov, he was more than welcome to do so. It was more the matter that he was approaching the Octagon, close enough that he was in effect a fourth corner for the Russian fighter.
Fili went on to win the fight in a route, earning scores of 30-27 from all three judges.
Fili (17-5) has now won two of three fights in the UFC. Lobov (13-14-1, 1 NC), who trains out of SBG Ireland with McGregor, has lost two straight.
“What he is not allowed to do is approach the cage at any point and, as I say, act as the fourth corner. That’s unfair and unjust.”