Five months ago, UFC president Dana White suggested, regretfully, that Conor McGregor might never fight in the promotion again.
Now, after the Irishman stormed Brooklyn’s Barclays Center with his entourage and attacked a bus containing UFC 223 competitors, let’s hope White’s suggestion comes true.
McGregor turned himself into the NYPD on Thursday night and has been charged with three counts of misdemeanor assault and a count of felony criminal mischief, according to police.
The most damage McGregor did came in the form of throwing a hand truck through a bus window, shattering it and cutting the face of Michael Chiesa, who was inside the bus and whose UFC 223 bout with Anthony Pettis has been canceled as a result.
yoooooo… first time seeing this one. Conor has legit lost his mind. pic.twitter.com/XcLFd2FIMo
— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) April 5, 2018
The view from inside the bus:
McGregor’s actions, apparently a response to teammate Artem Lobov’s confrontation with Khabib Nurmagomedov, eliminated two other fights from the card: Ray Borg got glass in his eye and will not fight Brandon Moreno, and Lobov has been removed from his bout with Alex Caceres.
“Right now, no, absolutely not,” the promotion president said when asked if he’s still interested in being in business with McGregor. “I mean, do you want to be in business with Conor McGregor right now? Do you want to chase this guy around for interviews and buy his fights? Do you? I don’t think anybody is going to want to right now. I think everybody is going to be pretty disgusted with Conor McGregor right now.”
Let’s hope White evolves this position into an actual lifetime ban of McGregor and doesn’t get seduced by the spectacle of his return to the octagon.
For one thing, it’ll show other UFC fighters that he cares about their safety — if McGregor’s explosive unpredictability can injure fighters he’s not even supposed to be around, how can he be trusted to take part in events without propelling glass into the faces of other fighters again?
For another, White’s banning McGregor for life would display an effort to maintain some semblance of accountability. If he’s not thoroughly punished, what’s stopping other fighters — outside of common human decency — from taking a publicity cue from the master of going viral himself?