Matt Serra's take on Conor McGregor's Bellator 187 incident? 'Man, (expletive) that dude'

If you thought the news cycle was over for the Conor McGregor incident in Dublin this past weekend just because Colby Covington and Fabricio Werdum had an open-weight boomerang fight, think again.

By now, you no doubt have heard about and seen McGregor jump the fence to go into the cage at Bellator 187 in Ireland to celebrate with teammate Charlie Ward.

Thanks to some confusion, according to referee Marc Goddard’s explanation, an irate McGregor ultimately went after Goddard and put a hand on him. Videos on social media also show McGregor taking a slap at another event official who told McGregor to get off the cage.

McGregor issued an apology. Goddard issued multiple statements. A commission representative called McGregor’s actions “assault.” The UFC condemned his behavior, though there’s been no word of whether he’ll get an official punishment. (He was not a licensed cornerman at the Bellator event.)

But on the latest episode of the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast with hosts Jim Norton and Matt Serra, the incident was brought up – and former welterweight champion Serra didn’t mince words.

“The point is this: He makes it about himself,” Serra said. “He doesn’t make it about his friends. He’s not doing that to support his friends … Dude – you’re an attention whore. That’s not respectful to your fighter. And what about him jumping on the cage and smacking the official?

“If I did that, if anybody did that, they’d be called a (expletive) asshole. How does this guy get a pass? … He’s acting like a (expletive) asshole.”

The Irishman may be the biggest draw in MMA history, and is coming off a megafight boxing match with Floyd Maywather in August.

He hasn’t competed in MMA in more than a year, since becoming the first concurrent two-division champ in UFC history when he won the lightweight title against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden. After that, his featherweight title was stripped, leaving him to focus on lightweight – but he hasn’t defended that belt yet. He didn’t defend his featherweight title, either, choosing instead to fight Nate Diaz at welterweight, then rematch him after being submitted.

Serra believes McGregor can get away with antics like what went down in DUblin because of the star power he brings to the table.

“I just think it’s (expletive) silly that people are like, ‘Ahh, well, that’s Conor, he’s bigger than life!’ He’s allowed to smack somebody? Man, (expletive) that dude. I don’t give a (expletive).”

For complete coverage of Bellator 187, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/HPw3CvabZ8Rz65P6nkwQP6/284767”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Mayweather def. McGregor”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Ref Marc Goddard responds to Conor McGregor, clarifies Bellator 187 melee facts in Facebook post

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_psxO6V2B_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/psxO6V2B.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC

As it turns out, referee Marc Goddard’s first statement addressing the Conor McGregor melee at Bellator 187 wasn’t enough. He had much more to say, chiefly so he could clear up any confusion.

Following his short 37-word tweet on Saturday, Goddard today wrote a lengthy Facebook post to make sure the facts are known. Goddard shared his message not long after McGregor posted an apology for jumping the cage Friday, which set off a chaotic sequence at the conclusion of the fight between McGregor’s SBG Ireland teammate, Charlie Ward, and John Redmond at 3Arena in Dublin.

In his apology, McGregor called out Goddard for what McGregor “horrendous decision in trying to pick an unconscious fighter up off the floor and force the fight to continue.” Goddard’s Facebook message was, at least in part, a direct response to McGregor’s claim.

Goddard said he heard the 10-second warning, but because of the noisy crowd reaction to Ward’s left hook that dropped Redmond, Goddard stopped the fight in the final moments “with the belief that (the) bell had indeed been sounded.” Goddard supports his claim pointing to video evidence that he stepped in without waving his hands as if to signal the fight was over.

McGregor, who wasn’t a licensed cornerman, immediately jumped the cage to celebrate with Ward, and all hell broke loose from there. Goddard said he proceeded to react under the assumption that Round 2 was still to come and could not make a clear determination of Redmond’s condition because of McGregor’s actions.

“Had I been allowed to make my determination without the interference of unauthorized persons in the cage in the first place then the ensuing melee would have indeed not occurred and normal protocol could have ensued,” Goddard said. “I then (would’ve) notified all concerned and we could conclude the bout officially and satisfactorily. At no point did I attempt to ‘pick up an unconscious fighter’ [he was not unconscious] and of course would never ‘force the fight to continue.’

“The important point to note here is that the condition and safety of the fighter trumps any and all other decisions. Their ability to be safely allowed to continue in a contest is only ever called by the referee, the person in charge of that contest and the sole arbiter. When I am unfairly delayed or robbed of that opportunity from outside and external sources, it brings not only the sport into disrepute but from my primary role and function of being able to make the right decision, the correct decision that is both safe and fair to the athlete concerned.”

Goddard said that because he had yet to determine the bout was over, his immediate goal was to restore order by getting both fighters to their corners for the rest period. He also wanted McGregor out of the cage.

Goddard, though, takes umbrage with anyone who believes he instigated physical contact with McGregor, pointing to the video to support his claim. Goddard also has a problem with those who believe he had an ax to grind with McGregor because of their prior history.

“So to all of you out there who wrongly assumed that I approach Charlie to eject Conor then you are sadly mistaken and plain wrong,” Goddard said. “The only reason I approach is to tell Charlie to (go) back to his corner as the fight was not over. It’s called restoring order and gaining control – who else was going to do it?”

You can read Goddard’s entire statement below via Facebook:

After a couple of days of downtime and reflection I would like to offer some clarification on the events that unfolded in the fight between Charlie Ward & John Redmond at Bellator 187. As per usual there is much assumption and conjecture so allow me to clear the up the facts and put to bed the inaccuracies.

The 1st round was progressing and passing without incident and subsequently my involvement. As the round drew to a close the 10 second warning sounded and that was heard and acknowledged by me. Soon after Charlie Ward connected with a left hand that slumped John Redmond to his knees. At this exact point I could not and had not made my determination that John was either out of the contest or not in the position to intelligently defend himself.

The punch and action that followed naturally resulted in a surge of crowd noise, one that was so significant I had already made my determination that I could not audibly hear the bell sound for the end of the round, I had made my decision to step in with the belief that bell had indeed been sounded, when in actual fact it had not. This is a critical fact to the ensuing proceedings.

At this point on my step in, and you will clearly see from the video replay that I only step across and do not wave the fight off. Charlie Ward, understandably so had reeled off in celebration thinking that I had indeed ended the contest and not as I had actually done, called time on what I believed to be the end of the round. Two distinctly different endings.

At this point Conor McGregor, who had once again been stood for the entire duration of the round in close proximity of the cage had taken my intervention, wrongly, as the end of the contest and proceeded to jump the fence to enter the fighting area to congratulate what he believed to be his team mates victory. At this point again my immediate concern was John Redmond who was still on his hands and knees and not in a position to look up and at me, please remember at this point I had still not officially called a stop to the contest.

John Redmond was moving and still in an obvious daze from the concussive blow. At this point, due to the ensuing confusion and people in the ring who shouldn’t be, I had still not decided that Redmond was out of the contest and that I has stepped in to stop the fight for what I had ultimately believed to have been the bell sound. Had I have had the chance to look and assess the condition of Redmond, even in real time to ascertain should the fight be stopped then I would naturally have done so, of course I did not.

As I see Conor McGregor in the ring – this is the ONLY reason that I approach Mr Ward. Conor is of zero concern to me at this point, he “happened to be there” [wrongly] and my intention again as you will clearly see from the video is to approach Charlie to let him know that the fight was not at that point officially over, that he should return to his corner and wait for my assessment and call. Had I indeed ended the bout then the fact Conor McGregor was in the ring would have been of zero concern to me and I wouldn’t even have approached them. I would have no need to.

I was talking only to Charlie Ward at this point and you will see me put my arms between him and Conor McGregor, trying to separate and restore order to notify him to go back to his corner and continue the rest period, I was trying to communicate with Charlie Ward and then trying to tell Conor to leave, it wasn’t done yet. This is when Conor McGregor began firstly his verbal assault in my direction. My only thought at this point was to notify Charlie Ward, and his corner team, of my decision at the time and restore order to the fighting area. Also the condition of Paul Redmond and then subsequently bringing in the Dr in the rest period to make a determination. Of course the ensuing mêlée and confusion had completely prevented that from happening, that is the result of the actions of one man.

Still at this point I had no dialogue with the official timekeeper as order and control was trying to be kept in the cage. I will make zero allowance for what people believe to be a referee’s intervention and not a security or commission representative’s job. Know this – when a fight is in swing and in the fighting area then as long as that is going on and the relevant parties are present and involved then it is my responsibility to provide the over-riding authority, it always had/has and it always will be so please allow me to first make that categorically clear. Whilst those combatants and all who surround them are within the fighting area both before during and after the contest then they will and they are under my jurisdiction – make no mistake about that fact. So to the people who think and believe otherwise then you are categorically and wholly wrong. When I referee it is my area and I will control it.

So to all of you out there who wrongly assumed that I approach Charlie to eject Conor then you are sadly mistaken and plain wrong, the only reason I approach is to tell Charlie to Go back to his corner as the fight was not over. It’s called restoring order and gaining control – who else was going to do it?

People have a strange habit, particularly in highly charged and emotional affairs such as MMA contest’s of seeing and believing what indeed has not happened. There has been the notion and belief of the fact that I had pushed Conor McGregor when this factually and categorically untrue – please again watch the video and you will see very clearly that I have my arms in between Charlie and Conor whilst trying to tell Charlie to return to his corner and let me make my determination, pushing fighters, or anyone unnecessarily so is simply not in my nature, or protocol of conduct to do so. It is then again, clearly, that you will see Conor McGregor who put his hands on my chest to shove me, I then turn and walk away to go back and check on the condition of Paul Redmond.

Immediately behind me Conor McGregor is running after me, incensed that the fight was not yet officially ruled over, trying to get round a commission representative, this is unbeknown to me and again if you look at the video he then breaks free of the commissioner and round into my back, it was a light and insignificant touch of no concern to me but what is of paramount importance here is the facts. The video does not lie. Again at this point I wanted to look at Paul Redmond and had notified his corned that it was not over, I had called for what I had believed to be the bell. Conor McGregors actions and ensuing melee of additional people with and connected to him, again with zero need or authority to even be in the cage, had also resulted in Paul Redmond being knocked around by the very people who were trying to ensure his safety and well being.

It was then that finally, in a second of respite amongst the carnage do I get to see the timekeeper who tells me that bell was sounded one second after I had stepped across. This is when it becomes apparently and easily clear to me that the fight was now officially ruled and over and Charlie Ward had indeed rightfully won the fight, based upon my actions alone.

Conor McGregor was then forcefully ejected from the cage, whilst still trying to get to me and continuing his verbal tirade and threats, including “seeing me in Birmingham” [my hometown] Conor McGregor’s threats are of no concern to me. He then circled outside of the cage and jumped back up on the cage and when a commission official tried to get him down he struck out to him. The video presents all the evidence that is needed. People are mistakenly under the belief that they are entitled to their own opinion and I’m not really up for that train of thought however, we can argue that one, but what you’re never entitled to is your own facts – these will always remain unchanged.

It is of imperative importance that this point is understood – once I know that I had stepped across and in between the fighters at 4:59 [or any time for that matter] then the fight is officially over and there is no going back. Again at this point it was categorically clear to me that Paul Redmond was indeed in no state to continue and the rightful winner was Charlie Ward. Had I been allowed to make my determination without the interference of unauthorized persons in the cage in the first place then the ensuing melee would have indeed not occurred and normal protocol could have ensued. I then notified all concerned and we could conclude the bout officially and satisfactorily. At no point did I attempt to “pick up an unconscious fighter” [he was not unconscious] and of course would never “force the fight to continue”

The important point to note here is that the condition and safety of the fighter trumps any and all other decisions. Their ability to be safely allowed to continue in a contest is only ever called by the referee, the person in charge of that contest and the sole arbiter. When I am unfairly delayed or robbed of that opportunity from outside and external sources it brings not only the sport into disrepute but from my primary role and function of being able to make the right decision, the correct decision that is both safe and fair to the athlete concerned.

I have enjoyed a very good and enjoyable relationship over many, many years with fighters and members of SBGi who have always represented themselves and the team with class and respect. I would like to thank all the team who approached and messaged me directly. I wish you all continued success and good fortune.
Literally thousands of messages received too, I appreciate your support and kind words but this is about MMA not me. I have declined every single media/news request to speak publically, these are my own words. I would like to thank Mike Mazzulli ABC president and the inspectors from the Mohegan Tribe Commission for the support.

I do not wish for any further action to be taken against any party, in particular Conor McGregor, but ultimately that is entirely out of my hands. I hope that the situation can be reviewed, learned from on how we could prevent a repeat instance and then case closed, we move on for the good of the sport.
I have known, witnessed and refereed Conor on many previous occasions over the years and watched, even in support of his meteoric rise, speaking publically to commend him and offer an insight when others had turned against him. I have known Conor before he was the mega star that he is now, long before he amassed his fame and fortune – the difference being I respected him the same and treated him no different back then.

The sport of MMA is the bigger picture here and is of my primary concern and anyone who knows me, truly knows me, will underline that. As I said on Saturday morning before leaving Dublin – I operate with integrity, belief and values – all of the time, every time.

I apologise in advance for the lengthy statement.

My respect and thanks.

For complete coverage of Bellator 187, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Conor McGregor apologizes for Bellator 187 fiasco, blasts ref's 'horrendous decision'

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_psxO6V2B_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/psxO6V2B.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC

Conor McGregor has apologized for setting off a melee this past Friday at Bellator 187.

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.

Here’s McGregor’s full statement (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

“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.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/HPw3CvabZ8Rz65P6nkwQP6/284472”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Mayweather def. McGregor”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

ABC head expects UFC will sanction Conor McGregor for Bellator 187 cage jump – and says he's off UFC 219

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_psxO6V2B_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/psxO6V2B.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC

Association of Boxing Commissions President Mike Mazzulli is currently evaluating his legal options for how to handle the cage-hopping incident involving Conor McGregor at this past Friday’s Bellator 187.

In the meantime, Mazzulli has been assured the UFC is taking action against the UFC lightweight champ. Two hours after McGregor jumped the fence, inciting a brief melee at 3Arena in Dublin, the regulator said a UFC executive called to tell him McGregor’s actions were “totally unacceptable.”

More serious, Mazzulli said, the executive claimed the UFC champ has been removed from a scheduled spot at UFC 219, which is set for Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

“Mr. McGregor was planned for Dec. 30 card, but he will not be fighting,” Mazzulli today told MMAjunkie.

Multiple requests for comment from the UFC to verify Mazzulli’s account were not immediately returned. Officially, McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) remains unscheduled pending negotiations for his next fight.

This past Friday’s incident was touched off 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. Referee Marc Goddard stepped in and stopped the bout. McGregor then hopped the fence and tackled Ward in apparent celebration.

Goddard 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. Then he hopped the cage once more, and when a Bellator employee named Michael Johnson tried to stop him, he appeared to reply with a slap to the face.

Unlicensed as a corner or fighter for the event, and unlicensed with the MTDAR, Mazzulli said McGregor was not subject to his authority as a regulator that night. McGregor could have been arrested by police, he added, but the fighter fled the arena before that was an option. The main concern was ensuring the safety of the fighters during the incident.

Mazzulli admits McGregor’s civilian status at Bellator 187 presents a challenge for administering any type of formal punishment. But he commends the UFC for taking the issue seriously.

“They’re basically going to sanction him on their end,” Mazzulli said. “I’m still waiting to hear what they plan on doing. My understanding is that he was scheduled to fight Dec. 30, and he will not be fighting this year. That’s one step. The second step is I reached out to the (commissions) that presently have him licensed. Of course, they’re fully aware of what he did.”

This past Friday’s incident quickly went viral, and Bellator highlighted McGregor’s cage-hop in promotions for the tape-delayed broadcast on Spike. Mazzulli issued a statement condemning McGregor’s behavior and communication with UFC officials over the matter. Goddard released his own statement and took the high road.

Early this morning on social media, McGregor posted a defiant message about his role in the incident before deleting his post.

“Bloke KO’d on floor bout a minute straight and ref trying to say fights not over Conor,” he wrote. “That’s when I lost it. F— yous all.”

McGregor is a licensed combatant in Nevada and New York, where his most recent fights have taken place. The commissions have not commented on the incident.

Mazzulli had been hired by Bellator to serve as the event’s regulator at 3Arena because there is no athletic commission with jurisdiction over MMA in Ireland. It’s a role comparable to UFC VP of Regulatory Affairs and former Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Marc Ratner for UFC events at which no official state oversight exists.

Mazzulli has overseen multiple overseas events for Bellator, as well as in the U.S., where he frequently works with tribal commissions in addition to his work with the MTDAR. On Friday, he will oversee Bellator 188 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

“My biggest concern is the fighter safety aspect of it,” Mazzulli said of the melee. “If that had occurred at Mohegan Sun, Mr. McGregor would have been removed and arrested. Fighter safety is No. 1 in my eyes, when I’m representing Mohegan, or representing Bellator.”

Mazzulli stressed that McGregor is not bigger than the sport of MMA and can’t be allowed to behave the way he did this past weekend. As for what can formally be done to deter future episodes, that will be determined shortly.

“I’m speaking to my legal team, but I do expect a sanction by the UFC, and I expect it to be a stiff one, too,” he said. “I don’t expect it to be a little slap on the wrist.”

For complete coverage of Bellator 187, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/HPw3CvabZ8Rz65P6nkwQP6/284396”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Mayweather def. McGregor”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Trading Shots: Conor McGregor jumps in cage and crosses line, so now what?

Conor McGregor made himself the story by jumping into the cage and shoving a referee at Bellator 187, but will he suffer any consequences whatsoever? And if it means delaying his return to the UFC, would we really want him to?

Retired UFC and WEC fighter Danny Downes joins MMAjunkie columnist Ben Fowlkes to discuss in this week’s Trading Shots.

* * * *

Downes: A couple weeks ago you talked about how you’re a Bellator believer, Ben. I guess that means you were glued to your set this past Friday for Bellator 187 from 3Arena in Dublin, where A.J. McKee improved his undefeated record to 10-0 and “Baby Slice” Kevin Ferguson Jr. picked up his second Bellator win via first-round submission.

But you know that’s not what we’re here to talk about. It’s all about Conor McGregor.

After his teammate Charlie Ward finished John Redmond with a first-round TKO, McGregor decided to inject a little bit of pandemonium to the proceedings. He jumped into the cage (despite not being a licensed cornerman), tackled his friend with some type of jumping guard pull, and then got into an altercation with referee Marc Goddard.

After he was escorted from the cage, he tried to climb back in. When he was rebuffed, he decided to slap a Bellator employee in the face.

We all know nothing will happen to McGregor, right? Maybe some tsk-tsking and a nominal fine, but nothing of substance. Should there be a stricter punishment, though? He brought that McGregor flair for the dramatic and probably increased the ratings. Even Bellator was promoting his actions on Twitter so people could catch the tape delay. So what’s the real story here?

Fowlkes: The real story is McGregor being completely out of control, acting like he can do anything he wants, maybe in part because that’s the message the MMA world has sent him. Before it’s all said and done, it will also end up being a referendum on what we truly value in this sport, which is where it’s going to get tricky.

First, let’s be very clear about what happened here. What McGregor did wasn’t just some minor breach of etiquette – it was dangerous. The fight was not even officially over yet, and Redmond was down on the mat, clearly still hurt from the blows he absorbed.

McGregor started out celebrating with his teammate, but when Goddard rightly tried to get him out of there, McGregor actually followed him across the cage to shove him as he was trying to check on the downed fighter. The ensuing fracas knocked Redmond down again as he was trying to get up, all so McGregor could continue haranguing a referee who was doing his job (via Twitter):

It was selfish. It was stupid. It was unsafe.

What we saw on display here was McGregor’s overwhelming sense of entitlement. He had about as much business in that cage as a random fan does in running onto the field during a football game, yet when an official tried to get him out of there, he flipped out. That not only created a dangerous environment, it also wound up stealing the spotlight from his teammate.

Think about it: You get your big win in Bellator in front of your home crowd, but once again your team’s most famous member ends up being the focal point. Somehow, you become a footnote to your own victory. And why? Because his ego was slightly bruised by someone telling him he couldn’t do absolutely anything he wanted.

But then, that’s the part we get stuck on, because unless there’s some fitting punishment here, the message we’re going to send is that McGregor really can do anything he wants.

He doesn’t work for Bellator, so it’s not like Scott Coker can do anything to him. He wasn’t licensed for the event, so the Mohegan Tribe commission that regulated it probably can’t punish him. That leaves it up to the UFC, which, as we’ve already established, is currently stuck in “how high” mode whenever McGregor asks it to jump.

So what do we actually want to see happen here? Should the UFC fine him? Suspend him? Should it stay consistent with its prior stance on Jason High and go right ahead and cut him? (Hahahahahaha … sorry, just couldn’t get through that one with a straight face.)

McGregor’s been allowed to play by his own rules to an unprecedented extent so far. Does our eagerness to see him fight again mean we’re willing to see that stretched even further?

Downes: First you get the money, then you get the power, then you get to jump on any cage you want. Rich, powerful people have thought they were above the rules for millennia. McGregor is no different in that respect.

I suppose we won’t know the line until he crosses it, but I think we should be on the lookout, because it’s probably going to going to come soon. When he decided not to attend a UFC press conference, most people were happy. He was sticking it to the man! Promoters have long had a disproportionate share of the power and here was a fighter who knew his worth.

When he decided to put multiple divisions on hold and change weight classes to become a two-time champ, most of us didn’t mind either. They were intriguing fights and brought a level of interest to the sport we hadn’t had in a while. Even the Floyd Mayweather boxing fight, while farcical on its surface, was fun. We enjoyed the circus and couldn’t blame a fella for making that boxing payday.

Recently though, he’s been acting with a level of impunity which has nothing to do with how he promotes his career. He inserts himself into the Artem Lobov vs. Andre Fili fight, freely uses homophobic slurs and then issues a non-apology apology. Even if he makes some pro forma statement about what happened Friday night, you know he won’t really mean it.

He doesn’t have remorse because he feels entitled to do whatever he wants. And he feels that way because he’s been given that power.

In any professional sport, your talent or ability to make the league/promotion/owner money grants you a longer and longer leash for misbehavior. High gets cut from the UFC while Roy Nelson and McGregor earn no such condemnation. Until you find leagues/promotions/owners who value character over dollars, this attitude will persist.

What I wonder, though, is how much fans and media have contributed to this problem. We wouldn’t be covering this event unless McGregor acted the way he did. Do a quick search for Bellator 187, and you’ll find that the top results are all in reference to McGregor.

“Mystic Mac” made himself a star, but he didn’t do it alone. The next time we have to discuss this Irishman’s impropriety (and there will be a next time), are we better off ignoring it completely?

Fowlkes: So you’re saying that the way to really set McGregor straight is to say and do absolutely nothing in response to his misbehavior? Bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off.

It’s one thing to say we in the media should stop the constant coverage of every little thing McGregor says or does or wears. There’s a legitimate argument to be made there.

But if Tyron Woodley had jumped in the cage at someone else’s fight and then shoved a ref and smacked a Bellator official, you know damn well we’d talk about it. You also know the entire MMA community and the UFC itself would come down on him like a cartoon safe, which is the part that won’t happen here solely because it’s McGregor.

And does anyone really want it to happen? Obviously, the UFC is not going to cut the goose that laid the golden pay-per-view just for the sake of consistency, which is an idea that’s never been that important to the UFC anyway.

Even the fans who agree that McGregor was completely out of line probably don’t want to see him suspended for any length of time just because he put his hands on an official and thereby crossed one of the few supposedly uncrossable lines left in this sport.

So what recourse does that leave? You can fine him, but he’s so rich he’ll barely notice. You can make him apologize to Goddard, but that’s a long way from an actual punishment. You can do nothing at all, which might be the most honest possible response from the UFC, but then you can’t be surprised when this escalating pattern of behavior continues.

One way or another, we’re going to find out whether McGregor’s star power is more important to the sport, the fans and the UFC than any of these silly little concepts like safety or decorum or the barest hint of good sense. I guess what I’m worried about is I feel like I already know the answer to that one.

For more on Bellator 187, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Danny Downes, a retired UFC and WEC fighter, is an MMAjunkie contributor who has also written for UFC.com and UFC 360. Follow them on twitter at @benfowlkesMMA and @dannyboydownes.

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 187 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_psxO6V2B_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/psxO6V2B.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News

Since the early days when the sport was anything but a mainstream endeavor, the MMA industry has thrived and survived through various websites, forums and, perhaps most importantly, social-media platforms.

Fighters interact with fans, each other and many more through the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which helps outsiders get a deeper look into the minds of the athletes.

Following Friday’s and Bellator 187 event at 3Arena in Dublin, several of the winning and losing fighters, along with their coaches, training partners or family members, took to social media to react to the event or share a message with supporters.

* * * *

The defeated

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

The victorious

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

For complete coverage of Bellator 187, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 187 highlights: Charlie Ward's TKO set off a Conor McGregor fiasco

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_psxO6V2B_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/psxO6V2B.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

Conor McGregor provided the most buzz-worthy moment on Friday at Bellator 187, but the actual sanctioned fighting had some highlights, as well.

While McGregor, the UFC lightweight champion set off a melee earlier on the card, the event, which took place at 3Arena in Dublin and aired via same-day delay on Spike, saw some familiar names in the action.

In the headliner, A.J. McKee (10-0 MMA, 10-0 BMMA) continued his undefeated pro run – and moved to 10-0 while fighting exclusively for Bellator – after putting featherweight Brian Moore (10-6 MMA, 1-2 BMMA) to sleep. McKee endured a nasty cut and a rally from his opponent, but he ultimately got the fight-ending rear naked choke in the third round.

Also on the card, Sinead Kavanagh (5-2 MMA, 2-2 BMMA), who missed weight for the 140-pound catchweight affair, nonetheless made quick work of Maria Casanova (3-6-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) en route to a 34-second TKO win.

Additionally, in a 161-pound catchweight fight, “Baby Slice” – Kevin Ferguson Jr. (2-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) – submitted Fred Freeman (1-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) in less than two minutes.

And in the main-card opener, middleweight Charlie Ward (4-3 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) scored a first-round TKO win over John Redmond (7-13 MMA, 0-1 BMMA), though his teammate, McGregor, set off this scene (via Twitter):

Check out all of the highlights above.

And for more on Bellator 187, including a full event recap, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Commission rep issues statement on Conor McGregor 'assault' at Bellator 187

The head of the commission that oversaw Friday’s Bellator 187 event has issued a statement regarding a fracas involving UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor.

Mike Mazzulli, who’s president of both the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation (MTDAR) and the Association of Boxing Commissions, today sent the statement to MMAjunkie. In it, he says “McGregor’s conduct jeopardized the health and safety” of fighters who were in the cage during the Ireland event.

During the main card, which took place at 3Arena in Dublin and aired via same-day delay on Spike, McGregor’s SBG Ireland teammate Charlie Ward (4-3 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) earned a first-round TKO win over John Redmond (7-13 MMA, 0-1 BMMA). However, videos of McGregor crashing the cage after the Ward fight quickly hit social media.

McGregor, who was not a licensed cornerman at the event, scaled the cage as part of a celebration – before the bout’s conclusion, according to Mazzulli. But he then shoved Marc Goddard when the veteran referee tried to have the UFC lightweight champion removed from the cage while medical personnel tended to Redmond.

Mazzulli said McGregor “assaulted Referee Mark Goddard and a Bellator staff” (member) in the statement.

“The MTDAR has been in consultation with the upper management of the UFC regarding Mr. McGregor’s inappropriate and unacceptable behavior,” his statement read. “The MTDAR has also contacted members of the Association of Boxing Commissioners that have licensed Mr. McGregor in their jurisdictions to inform them of Mr. McGregor’s behavior.”

There’s no immediate word on possible repercussions for McGregor, though it’s likely outside of the MTDAR’s and ABC’s jurisdiction.

Here’s the full statement:

“While the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation (MTDAR) was regulating Bellator 187 in Dublin, Ireland, on November 10, 2017, the following events took place during the Ward vs Redmond bout.

“Mr. Conor McGregor who was a spectator at the time, disrupted the event by scaling the cage prior to the conclusion of the bout. Mr. McGregor’s conduct jeopardized the health and safety of the bout participants by delaying necessary medical attention to the fighters that were injured during the round.

“In addition, Mr. McGregor assaulted Referee Mark Goddard and a Bellator staff.

“The MTDAR has been in consultation with the upper management of the UFC regarding Mr. McGregor’s inappropriate and unacceptable behavior.
“The MTDAR has also contacted members of the Association of Boxing Commissioners that have licensed Mr. McGregor in their jurisdictions to inform them of Mr. McGregor’s behavior.”

For more on Bellator 187, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/HPw3CvabZ8Rz65P6nkwQP6/283779”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Mayweather def. McGregor”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Referee Marc Goddard issues statement after Conor McGregor melee at Bellator 187

Dann StuppHow did the man at the center of Friday’s Conor McGregor melee at Bellator 187 handle another sudden thrust into the spotlight? He’s as level-headed as always.

During the event, which took place at 3Arena in Dublin, McGregor’s SBG Ireland teammate Charlie Ward (4-3 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) earned a first-round TKO win over John Redmond (7-13 MMA, 0-1 BMMA). However, long before that main-card bout aired on Spike via same-day delay in the U.S., videos of McGregor crashing the cage after the Ward fight quickly spread on social media.

McGregor, who was not a licensed cornerman at the event, scaled the cage as part of a celebration. But he then shoved Marc Goddard when the veteran referee tried to have the UFC lightweight champion removed from the cage while medical personnel tended to Redmond.

Here was the frantic scene (via Twitter):

Additional footage showed that McGregor took a swipe at a Bellator employee who tried to get “Notorious” down from the top of the cage.

Goddard, one of the sport’s more recognizable and respected officials, today issued a statement. As with the melee on Friday, the veteran ref remained calmed and professional (via Twitter):

I operate with integrity, belief and values.

I hold MMA in a deep rooted place in my life and have considered myself most fortunate to have done so for so long.

Family first. Everything else second.

Respect.

For more on Bellator 187, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of Bellator 187

While it takes intense training, world-class skills and maybe even a bit of luck to register a Bellator win, picking the right song to accompany you to the cage is a key talent, as well.

See what the fighters of Friday’s Bellator 187 event in Dublin, went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

A.J. McKee def. Brian Moore via technical submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:14

A.J. McKee: “A.J. McKee” by Lil’ Hef

Brian Moore: “L’Estasi Dell’oro (Bandini Remix)” by Ennio Morricone

Sinead Kavanagh def. Maria Casanova via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:34

Sinead Kavanagh: “Feel The Love” by Rudimental feat. John Newman

Maria Casanova: N/A

Kevin Ferguson Jr. def. Fred Freeman via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:57

Kevin Ferguson Jr.: “Bareknuckle Hits” by DJ EFN

Fred Freeman: “Dream On” by Aerosmith

Charlie Ward def. John Redmond via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 4:59

Charlie Ward: N/A

John Redmond: “The Last of the Mohicans Theme” by Dougie Maclean & Trevor Jones

Paul Redmond def. Sergio de Jesus Santos via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)

Paul Redmond: “The Harder They Come” by Jimmy Cliff

Sergio de Jesus Santos: “We Will Rock You” by Queen

For complete coverage of Bellator 187, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News
Source: MMA Junkie