What to Know
MMA fighter Conor McGregor was arrested after an alleged rampage on Thursday at Barclays Center, sources tell News 4
UFC President Dana White says one fighter inside the bus was hurt, and some other people had injuries, too
He called the rampage “disgusting,” and claims cops are looking for McGregor, though the NYPD hasn’t confirmed that to News 4
Mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor has been arrested after he allegedly went on a caught-on-camera rampage after a UFC press conference at Barclays Center, two senior law enforcement sources told News 4.
Sources said McGregor is expected to face a judge over assault-related charges Friday after multiple social media accounts captured video of him acting wildly in a non-public area of the arena. One video showed McGregor picking up a metal guardrail and running with it in an apparent attempt to throw it at a departing bus carrying several other fighters including rival Khabib Nurmagomedov.
McGregor continued flailing other items around and ultimately launched something that hit the window of the bus, cracking it and shattering the glass, video taken from inside the bus shows. Michael Chiesa, another UFC fighter set to compete in the weekend’s events, had minor injuries.
A source close to McGregor told News 4 that he was “upset and distraught” following the episode.
The NYPD late Thursday confirmed that McGregor was in custody. Earlier the department said it was looking to question the fighter about the exchange and added that one man was taken to the hospital with broken glass on his head and possibly in his eyes.
UFC President Dana White — who earlier this week announced that McGregor was being stripped of his UFC lightweight championship — told MMAjunkie in a Facebook interview that McGregor and a crew of about 20 men “stormed” the building after gaining access from media-credentialed people at Barclays and got to the loading dock, where fighters were boarding buses after a press conference for Saturday’s pay-per-view card.
“They started to attack the buses, throwing trash cans and dollies and things like that — broke one of the windows and cut Michael Chiesa really bad. He cut his head, he cut his face,” said White, adding that other people were injured.
“Obviously everybody’s shaken up… this is the most disgusting thing that’s ever happened in the history of this company,” White said.
White added McGregor would be “sued beyond belief” and that it was a “real bad career move on his part.”
“It’s disgusting,” he said. “I don’t think anyone’s going to be a huge Conor McGregor fan after this.”
“The police are going to take care of Conor,” said White. “The police are gonna handle Conor.”
In a statement, UFC called the disruption “completely unacceptable.”
Later, Chiesa tweeted he had been pulled from UFC 223 by the New York State Athletic Commission.
“I’m devastated to say the least,” he said in the tweet.
It’s not clear what McGregor was doing in New York or at Barclays Center; White speculated that he may have been in town to watch the upcoming fight Saturday.
Police sources told the New York Post that they believe the episode may have been a “publicity stunt” ahead of UFC 223.
After McGregor was officially stripped of the UFC lightweight championship, White said the winner of Saturday’s bout — Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Max Holloway — would become the undisputed champion in the division.
McGregor profanely responded on Twitter and wrote, “You’ll strip me of nothing.”
The winner of the bout was likely to be among the top contenders for the next big-money fight with McGregor. White had said he didn’t want McGregor defending belts in two divisions when he was the champ in two weight classes.
McGregor has not fought for UFC since he won the 155-pound title at UFC 2015 in November 2016. McGregor last fought in a boxing loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Aug. 26, 2017.