Conor McGregor apologizes for Bellator 187 fiasco, blasts ref's 'horrendous decision'
The UFC lightweight champion today released a statement to try to explain why it happened at the Dublin event.
The trouble began when longtime McGregor teammate Charlie Ward (4-3 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) dropped opponent John Redmond (7-13 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) with a hook late in the first round (watch the highlights above). Referee Marc Goddard stepped in to stop the bout as McGregor hopped the fence and tackled Ward in apparent celebration.
The veteran ref then ordered McGregor out of the cage – the second time he’s had words with the Irish star over his cageside demeanor – only to have McGregor curse him out and shove him as officials tried to calm the situation.
McGregor then exited the cage, only to march back in after officials tried to usher him out. “Notorious” then he hopped the cage once more, and when a Bellator employee named tried to stop him, he appeared to reply with a slap to the face.
“I sincerely apologize for my behavior at last weekends fight event in Dublin. While trying to support a loyal teammate and friend, I let my emotions get the best of me and acted out of line. As a multiple weight UFC champion, executive producer, role model and public figure, I must hold myself to a higher standard.
“The referee Marc Gonard was making a horrendous decision in trying to pick an unconscious fighter up off the floor and force the fight to continue into the second round. Even against the wishes of the said fighters coach. The fight was over.
“After witnessing my fighter in a fight where the worst happened and the opponent passed away from his injuries on the night, I thought the worst was about to happen again, and I lost it and over reacted. I am sorry to everyone.
“I sincerely apologize to the Director of the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, Mike Mazzulli, all the officials and staff working the event, Andy Ryan and his fighter John, two stonch ones that put up a great fight every time. That side will always have my respect, and lastly every one of my fans. I love yous all!
“I’ve always learned from my mistakes and this will be no different.”
Association of Boxing Commissions President Mike Mazzulli, who was at the event in a regulatory role, is currently evaluating his legal options for how to handle the incident.
For complete coverage of Bellator 187, check out the MMA Events section of the site.