Sport | 6 days ago
Conor McGregor's UFC 219 plans nixed following Bellator incident, according to commission head
The UFC originally wanted 'The Notorious' to fight before the end of the year

2017 might go down the most lucrative year in Conor McGregor's entire career but it's also been the most controversial by far.

We've seen McGregor accused of making racially insensitive remarks, we've seen him repeatedly use a homophobic slur when referring to a teammate's opponent and, most recently, we've seen him allow his emotion get the better of him in the Bellator cage.

After training partner and close friend Charlie Ward got his hand raised in his promotional debut at Bellator 187 last weekend, McGregor scaled the cage in Dublin's 3Arena and shoved referee Marc Goddard, an official with whom the UFC lightweight champion has previous.

Footage also emerged of McGregor striking a Bellator employee who was simply doing his job in attempting to prevent the Irish fighter, who was not a designated cornerman that night, from entering the cage.

Apologies from McGregor were hard to come by as he posted a tweet on Monday morning in which he said "Fuck yous all" to those criticising his behaviour.

Punitive measures were expected and, apparently, at least one punishment has already been handed down as plans to have 'The Notorious' headline the UFC's end-of-year card have been scrapped.

To be fair, that penalty will be far more detrimental to the UFC than McGregor himself but one would expect a fine of some sort to follow suit.

The director of the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, the governing body which oversaw Bellator 187, has explained that UFC officials informed him that McGregor would no longer be featuring on the UFC 219 card in Las Vegas due to his latest indiscretion.

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Mike Mazzulli, who also serves as the president of Association of Boxing Commissions, took to the MMA Hour on Monday evening to explain the current situation.

"Mr. McGregor is not bigger than MMA. We all know that," Mazzulli said. "Mr. McGregor may not be around in five years, but MMA will still be here. I think that's very important to understand that fighter safety is the most important thing in the world because without fighter safety, the sport would not proceed to the next level like it always had.

"After the event, I had some executives from UFC contact me within two hours after what occurred. They basically said to me that it was completely unacceptable in their eyes and that they will be doing something. They did inform me that he was set to be on the Dec. 30 card and he will not be on it. So I do commend UFC to some extent for doing that."

Only last week, UFC President Dana White remained hopeful of having his most reliable cash cow compete on the UFC 219 which would wrap the calendar year up with a profitable bow.

White has yet to comment on McGregor's behaviour last weekend in Dublin but, knowing how much he likes to talk, we don't imagine he will be able to keep quiet for long.

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UFC, Conor McGregor, Bellator, UFC 219