Conor McGregor went before the Nevada Athletic Commission on Monday, Oct. 10, for his part in a bottle-throwing melee with Nate Diaz, which occurred on Wednesday, Aug. 17, at the UFC 202 pre-fight press conference.
McGregor was levied a substantial fine and a heavy dose of community service, but staved off a suspension that would have interfered with his UFC 205 headlining bout with Eddie Alvarez.
The incident in question at the UFC 202 press conference occurred after McGregor arrived 30 minutes late. During routine questions posed to the fighters, Diaz stormed off the stage, flipping the bird at McGregor. Things only got worse from there, as Diaz’s team, including his brother Nick, began throwing bottles at McGregor, and then McGregor began chucking water bottles and Monster Energy cans at Diaz and his camp. (Watch the MMAWeekly.com video of the incident, which the Nevada Attorney General’s office used as evidence and showed at Monday’s meeting.)
The matter led to the NAC adjudicating disciplinary action against McGregor and Diaz. McGregor was before the commission on Monday, but Diaz asked for and received a continuance, so he will not go before the commission until a future meeting.
McGregor’s attorney did not attempt to justify his actions, but tried to put them in context by offering that he reacted to Diaz and his camp, who threw bottles first.
For his part, McGregor, who was present via telephone, also offered no defense, apologizing and saying, “I was acting very rapidly and it just got out of hand. This fight had everything on the line for me. This was the highest paid fight I’d ever been in.”
While the attorney general’s office recommended a penalty that included a $25,000 fine, 25 hours of community service and 5 hours of media training to prevent further incidences, McGregor’s attorney spent much time trying to make a case for the commission to not consider any sort of suspension that would affect McGregor’s UFC 205 headlining bout. The Alvarez vs. McGregor bout is slated for Nov. 12 in New York, so any suspension would likely have derailed the fight.
The commission, during its deliberations, steered clear of suspension, but talked at length about the amount of the fine and other requirements, such as McGregor participating in an anti-bullying campaign, which was recommended by his attorney, as well as possibly requiring McGregor to participate in the commissions anti-doping educational campaign.
In the end, the commission unanimously approved a 5-percent fine, which amounts to $150,000 of McGregor’s $3 million purse. The fine was accompanied by community service provisions.
McGregor, within six months, will have to do 50 hours of community service, of which 10-percent (or 5 hours) must be dedicated to producing a public service campaign to address anti-bullying. The 45-hour balance of his community service should be largely focused on presenting a positive message to children.
McGregor is also required to reimburse the athletic commission for its expenses in adjudicating his case.
By comparison, for their parts in a pushing and shoving incident prior to a planned bout at UFC 182, Jon Jones was fined $50,000 and ordered to do 40 hours of community service and Daniel Cormier was fined $9,000 and issued 20 hours of community service.