By now most of you will have seen Conor McGregor’s latest brush with MMA authorities following his appearance in the cage at Bellator 187. Charlie Ward his stablemate at SBG was after finishing John Redmond at the Bellator event and Conor took it upon himself to jump into the cage in wild celebration with his team-mate.
Marc Goddard, the referee, came over to calm the situation down and move McGregor away. McGregor’s reaction was furious and he shoved Goddard at one point. Mcgregor somehow had himself worked up into a frenzy within a couple of seconds in what was a scene of joy a few moments earlier. Bizarre. To say it was most unbecoming of the UFC champion would be an understatement.
Outside the cage there is some video evidence to suggest a commissioner was slapped by Mcgregor although it does look like the person in question was grabbing his leg and trying to pull him down from the cage.
Goddard of course has previous with McGregor. Goddard was reffing the UFC fight between McGregor’s teammate Artem Lobov and Andre Fili in Gdansk a couple of weeks ago. On that occasion McGregor appeared to be roaring instructions to Lobov and the ref felt the need to stop the fight to tell him to stop. McGregor on that occasion was ordered away from the cage.
It was also the occasion that Mcgregor was overheard using the ‘faggot’ term backstage after the bout. The furore surrounding that forced him into a public apology on the Late Late Show in Ireland.
I actually don’t think last night’s actions were pre-meditated. He can be seen to get totally engrossed watching fights even where he has no team-mate in the fight. Just have a look at him in the crowd at the Aldo vs Mendes UFC title fight in Brazil. However this idea of invading the cage especially of a rival promotion is not on. I can’t imagine John Kavanagh was over the moon about it.
At this stage of his career he doesn’t need any extra publicity. If anything he needs a break from it. It has struck me that since the Mayweather fight he is almost like a man starting to spiral a little bit out of control. There was absolutely no need for him to behave the way he did last night – I don’t care how close he is to Charlie Ward. It took the spotlight away from Ward’s win and ultimately put it back on himself. The same is true of Lobov’s fight in Gdansk. They need the attention far more than he does.
9,000 other people managed to stop themselves from jumping into the cage after last night’s fights and he should be able to do the same.
You would think maybe Bellator were annoyed that their referee was shoved by Mcgregor. Eh not exactly….within minutes Bellator and Spike TV had a commercial of the fracas packaged in an advertisment targeted for their North American viewership who had yet to be shown the highlights package due to the 5 hour time difference.
Having done this it will be very hard for them to punish Mcgregor as he will be very quick to point out that they used the incident to subsequently promote the event. It would be best for all concerned if McGregor would just announce a fight and a date and get back to what he is good at.