“The Eagle” isn’t landing in the desert anytime soon as suspensions and fines come raining down.
The fateful incident that took place at UFC 229 is drawing to its close.
Yesterday, lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was given a nine-month suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). Additionally, Conor McGregor was handed a six-month suspension for his role in the brawl that occurred after Nurmagomedov’s victory.
Both suspensions are retroactive to the Oct. 6 fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Nurmagomedov was also fined $500,000, and McGregor $50,000 for attempting to follow his opponent out of the cage. Eventually, McGregor engaged in a physical altercation with two of Nurmagomedov’s teammates who hopped into the cage.
Both fighters had reached deals with the state before the hearing and they were approved by the NSAC.
The incident began after Nurmagomedov submitted McGregor via neck crank and then jumped out of the Octagon.
McGregor’s teammate, Dillon Danis, who immediately verbalized taunts to Nurmagomedov following the match, was the intended target.
For weeks, the two crews had been on bad terms. Apparently, during the fight week of UFC 223 in Brooklyn, McGregor teammate Artem Lobov got into a heated exchange with Nurmagomedov in the host hotel. The result: a slap by Khabib that sent its shockwaves all the way to Dublin.
McGregor booked a jet and flew with his squad to NYC, sneaking in a back door at Barclays Center, and unleashing a rampage backstage. Fighters were injured resulting in McGregor’s arrest and lawsuits.
As a result, McGregor pleaded no contest to a count of disorderly conduct.
Fast-forward to the lead-up to UFC 229 at Radio City Music Hall. McGregor swaggered to the dais, sipped a whiskey he was promoting, and began to berate Nurmagomedov in the worst ways.
McGregor disrespected the Islamic religion, called his father a Russian snitch, and claimed to have influence over Russia’s President.
Nurmagomedov remained relatively calm during the interactions.
This, mixed with McGregor’s “notorious” Twitter fingers and Khabib’s online retorts set the stage for the epic melee.
Nurmagomedov, who earned $2 million for the lightweight title fight, is eligible to return to the cage on July 6th. He can knock three months off the suspension by participating in an anti-bullying PSA produced by UFC and the Las Vegas Metro Police Department and approved by the NSAC.
But McGregor bullied Nurmagomedov.
“The Notorious'” suspension will end on April 6.
The bad blood between Nurmagomedov and McGregor is a real-life soap opera showcasing the evils of fight hype. McGregor has relished his 50 Cent style scorched earth promotional tactics all the way to the bank, becoming one of the game’s top draws.
However, with the disproportionate amount in fines and suspensions that Nevada has dished out, it sends the wrong message. Although it was Khabib who hopped the cage, McGregor and his teammates created the environment for ultimate rage.
Once it spilled into the streets and the crowd, the UFC Code of Conduct should have been broken out a long time ago.
Between the UFC, New York City, and the NSAC all not fully checking McGregor, there is a Mc-Problem that has no sign of shrinkage in the future.