The mixed martial arts world was shocked on Thursday as Conor McGregor and his entourage stormed into the Barclays Center at the end of the UFC 223 Media Day, wreaking havoc in the backstage area.
McGregor and his crew were let into the building, according to UFC president Dana White, by staffers of TheMacLife.com website. At that point, they stormed down to where the fighters participating in the media day were loading into vans, preparing to return to the UFC 223 fighter hotel.
McGregor and his group proceeded to hurl barriers, bike racks, trash cans, and seemingly anything they could get their hands on and flung much of it at the vans.
One of the casualties of the fracas was Michael Chiesa, who is slated to fight Anthony Pettis on the UFC 223 main card on Saturday. He suffered multiple cuts to his face, according to White, and his coach, Rick Little, confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that he was at a local hospital for treatment.
“What happened here today is Conor and approximately 20 guys were let in through the doors by the MacLife guys, who were credentialed here. They opened the doors for them, through an entrance, they stormed the building, got down to the loading docks where the fighters were getting onto the buses and started to attack the buses. Throwing trash cans and dollies and things like that,” White said in a scrum with UFC 223 media a short time after the incident took place.
“Broke one of the windows and cut Michael Chiesa really bad. He cut his head; he cut his face. Rose Namajunas apparently was almost hit; she’s super upset right now and basically left and walked back to the hotel. Hurt one of our employees, broke one of our employees’ knuckles, and other injuries. Obviously, everybody’s shaken up when 30 thugs storm [an arena]. These guys are all cutting weight and getting ready for a fight.”
It was unclear at the time of publication what Chiesa’s status was and if he would still be able to fight on Saturday.
Namjunas’ fiancé Pat Barry responded to MMAWeekly.com, reassuring that she was doing okay and wasn’t injured in the incident.
A video posted on social media from inside the van that Chiesa was in, certainly gave a chilling inside account of the incident.
— joshua. (@jrsvx) April 5, 2018
“This is the most disgusting thing that has every happened in the history of the company,” White continued.
“There is a warrant out for Conor McGregor’s arrest. They’re looking for him right now. His plan cannot take off. He cannot leave the state of New York with this warrant, they’ll be ground. I’m assuming eventually if they don’t catch him, he’ll turn himself in. You can imagine he’s going to be sued beyond belief and this was a real bad career move for him.”
McGregor’s teammate, Artem Lobov, whom White identified as taking part in the incident has been removed from the UFC 223 fight card, regardless of Chiesa’s status.
Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for full coverage as the situation continues to develop.