What to Know
MMA fighter Conor McGregor was arrested after an alleged rampage on Thursday at Barclays Center, sources tell News 4
McGregor was charged early Friday by the NYPD with assault and criminal mischief, MMA fighter Cian Cowley was alos charged
UFC President Dana White would be “sued beyond belief” and that it was a “real bad career move on his part”
Mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor has been arrested and charged with assault and criminal mischief after he allegedly went on a caught-on-camera rampage after a UFC 223 press conference at Barclays Center, the NYPD says.
Two senior law enforcement sources told News 4 late Thursday that McGregor is expected to face a judge 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 allegedly 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.
Conor McGregor. Picks up guard rail. Attempts to throw it at bus. ABSOLUTE CHAOS IN NEW YORK. #UFC223 (Via Felice Herrig’s IG story) pic.twitter.com/JYQZD7jtKP
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) April 5, 2018
Conor McGregor in chaotic brawl prior to #UFC223 media day pic.twitter.com/aK6tEjUdWZ
— MMA Experts (@MMA_Experts) April 5, 2018
Well, Conor McGregor is in Brooklyn for #UFC223. Here’s some shaky video of a bunch of people running after him. pic.twitter.com/AhhLDzguQP
— Ryan Gerbosi (@RyanGerbosi) April 5, 2018
Coach Kavanagh must have yelled “Ninja vanish!”. Conor McGregor and his Foot Clan escape in a cranked and ready SUV getaway vehicle. (footage by @AdamHillLVRJ) #UFC223pic.twitter.com/zWkgq5nP5m
— Justin Golightly (@SecretMovesMMA) April 5, 2018
The NYPD said McGregor has been in custody since late Thursday. 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,” White said. “The police are gonna handle Conor.”
In a statement, UFC called the disruption “completely unacceptable,” and is “working on the consequences.”
Later, Chiesa tweeted he had been pulled from UFC 223 bout against Anthony Pettis by the New York State Athletic Commission.
“I’m devastated to say the least,” he said in the tweet.
UFC confirmed Chiesa was pulled from the event after he suffered “several facial cuts.”
The UFC also said another fighter was injured and is unable to fight.
“Flyweight Ray Borg, who was scheduled to face Brandon Moreno, was deemed unfit to fight as well due to multiple corneal abrasions,” UFC said in a statement.
McGregor is tight with UFC 223 fighter Artem Lobov, who was also involved in the rampage, UFC said. Lobov has been yanked from this weekend’s card. However, police said they haven’t charged him, but they say they charged MMA fighter Cian Cowley, 25, of Ireland, with assault and criminal mischief.
“UFC 223 will proceed as scheduled with 10 bouts,” UFC said in the statement. “Moving to the Pay-Per-View main card is the featherweight bout between Zabit Magomedsharipov and Kyle Bochniak.”
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.