One of the biggest outside the Octagon stories of the year regarding Conor McGregor in 2016 was the water bottle blow-up he had with Nate Diaz ahead of UFC 202.
McGregor went before the Nevada Athletic Commission for disciplinary action after he, Diaz, and Diaz’s team hurled water bottles at each other in the middle of the UFC 202 pre-fight press conference. After much deliberation, which resulted in shifting away from a proposed fine of $300,000, the Nevada commission settled on the somewhat lesser sanctions of a $150,000 fine and 50 hours of community service to produce an anti-bullying campaign.
Though he was amiable during his disciplinary hearing, McGregor didn’t take kindly to the punishment, later telling Rolling Stone, “I don’t see Nevada in my future, for the foreseeable future, is how I see it.”
He appears to be backtracking on his Rolling Stone interview a tad, however, as he told the crowd at a question-and-answer session in Manchester, England, over the weekend that he would soon be going to Las Vegas to settle his business with the athletic commission, amongst other things.
“There’s a lot of business to settle in Las Vegas. They tried to fine me $150,000 for throwing a bottle,” said the UFC featherweight champion. “I didn’t even think it was a real court. I was like this isn’t a real court. This isn’t like legal. They just wanted a little respect. I went in and showed my respect.
“Look, I’m not going to try and point fingers, who threw what first. I just owned up, manned up and said I (expletive) up. I won’t do it again. They were like, Pat Lundvall was like, ‘so you’ll accept any fine that I give you?’ I’m like yeah. And then $150,000 fine, all in favor say I. I, boom, boom, boom, they started hitting the gavel. I was like, what the (expletive) is going on here? $150,000?”
As relayed in his Rolling Stone interview, McGregor may not have expressed it during the hearing, but he wasn’t at all happy about the way the commission treated him.
Now, however, McGregor has a lot of business options in front of him. He is the UFC’s first dual-division champion, and also has aspirations to box retired world champion Floyd Mayweather. So, he needs to get things sorted with Nevada, which is the focal point of business for the UFC and Mayweather.
“We come to an understanding. I’m going to fly out there and fix it. I’m going to get my Las Vegas boxing (license) and then we’ll see where the (expletive) Floyd is at,” he continued.
Though he has long been licensed in mixed martial arts, he needs a separate license for boxing. Regardless of which pursuit is next, if he intends to fight in Las Vegas, McGregor has to get clear of the commission. Although $150,000 is a hefty fine, it’s peanuts compared to the type of money he stands to make fighting in the combat sports capitol of the world. If he doesn’t settle up with the commission, McGregor can’t compete in MMA or boxing in the state, which could potentially affect whether other states would license him.
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“They’re using it as leverage to get (the $150,000 fine). But whatever, we’ll see. We have it fixed. It’s fixed. That’s what I’m saying. It’s fixed. If I keep going I’ll dig myself back in. We figured it out. We fixed it. Everybody came together,” said McGregor. “They realized I bought $400 million in revenue in one fight to the beautiful city of Las Vegas. They realized that if I’m not there, ain’t nobody bringing money to that city. We figured it out. We got together. We’re going to make it work. We’ll pay the fine. We’ll work out a way to pay the fine. We’ll do the video that they want. They want like an anti-bullying campaign. I’m going to respect that.”
So in the end, it appears that McGregor is going to do what the commission wants, accept blame for his part in the water-bottle-throwing incident, and move forward.
“You’ve got to own up to your responsibilities. You’ve got to step up and own up to mistakes you’ve made. That’s what men do. That’s what people who have grown and passed a new stage go and do, so that’s what I’m going to go and do. Then I’m going to get that boxing license. Then we’ll figure out where it goes from there.”
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Source: MMA Weekly