Just about everybody has an opinion on Conor McGregor’s bizarre behavior in Brooklyn a couple of weeks ago after the former lightweight champion went on a rampage through the Barclays Center ahead of UFC 223.
McGregor reportedly went on his tirade that left two fighters and one UFC employee injured as retaliation after Khabib Nurmagomedov confronted Artem Lobov in the host hotel a few days earlier over statements he had made in the media. Lobov is one of McGregor’s best friends and teammates so the Irishman lashed out in an attempt to get at Nurmagomedov just two days away from his bout to compete for the undisputed lightweight title.
Top 10 ranked lightweight Kevin Lee has a different theory regarding McGregor’s outburst.
According to Lee, McGregor going on a rampage at the Barclays Center had as much to do with his own career as it had anything to do with backing up his friend and training partner.
UFC 223 marked the end of McGregor’s lightweight title reign that lasted more than 500 days without him ever actually defending the belt. Add to that, Nurmagomedov was being widely touted as the No. 1 lightweight in the sport even before McGregor had his title taken away.
Lee feels like that all led to McGregor boiling over and then lashing out at Nurmagomedov ahead of UFC 223 in Brooklyn.
“The Conor situation, he knows if he fights any of us three big guns in the division, he’s going to get his ass whooped,” Lee said referencing himself, Nurmagomedov and former interim champion Tony Ferguson. “I think that frustration is coming out in his actions.
“Because no reasonable man does some s–t like that, especially if you really wanna smoke. You don’t show up with 20 guys and cause a big scene in front of security and hit [Michael] Chiesa in the face. It’s a weird situation.”
Some have wondered if McGregor intended on getting to the arena earlier in the day when Nurmagomedov and the rest of the fighters were conducting a media day with reporters and then the former champion just showed up too late and that led to his outburst.
Lee theorizes that McGregor never had any intention of getting into a fight with Nurmagoemdov but rather he wanted to cause a scene while having all the back up he could ever need should a real brawl actually break out.
“I think it’s frustration cause he ain’t the real champ and he ain’t never been the real champ and we’re finally calling him on his bulls–t,” Lee said about McGregor.
Either way it ended with McGregor in handcuffs being charged with three misdemeanors for assault and a felony charge for criminal mischief. McGregor will next appear in a New York courthouse in June to answer to those charges currently dangling over his head.
As for Lee, he will battle Edson Barboza in the main event at UFC Fight Night in Atlantic City on Saturday with a chance to put himself back in title contention with a win.