Conor McGregor caused quite the stir after jumping into the cage at Bellator 187 in Dublin last Friday and getting into an altercation with referee Marc Goddard.
He issued a formal apology online today but stuck to the stance that he was simply angered that Goddard would even have considered letting Ward’s dazed opponent John Redmond continue.
While McGregor may have seen it as simply coming in to celebrate an SBG teammate’s big win, the powers that be saw differently. So much so that the sanctioning bodies that be are pushing for the UFC lightweight champion to be punished, essentially targeting his possible inclusion on the upcoming UFC 219 card.
“They already sanctioned him,” Mazzulli said. “So they did hit him. He’s not gonna be making any more money this year and I commend UFC for that. I really do.”
“There’s a zero tolerance for that,” Mazzulli said. “That’s why I said when you are a professional at that level, you have to handle yourself as a professional. There’s a lot of people that are looking up to you and respecting you as an individual, as a fighter. Don’t get me wrong, Conor McGregor is a great, great fighter. I’ve watched every single fight of his and that’s what I do, this is my job.
“But when it comes to what he did to Mr. Goddard and [Bellator employee] Michael Johnson, what would possess somebody to do that? Like I said, if it was at Mohegan, I guarantee you that the Mohegan Tribe Police Department would be removing Mr. Conor. There’s no doubt in my mind.”
Mazzulli continued on to offer his stance that McGregor was not bigger than the sport as a whole despite his behavior suggesting otherwise. In closing, Mazzulli said that McGregor was simply acting incredibly unprofessional, which was the stark opposite of how a champion on his level should behave at an event:
“Mr. McGregor is not bigger than MMA,” Mazzulli said. “We all know that. Mr. McGregor may not be around in five years, but MMA will still be. I think that is very important to understand, that fighter safety is the most important thing in the world. Because without fighter safety, this sport would not proceed to the next level like it always has.”
“First of all, I’m never comfortable when somebody takes it upon himself to act like a 5-year-old and jump in the cage,” Mazzulli said. “The bottom line is he was unprofessional, he was disrespectful and it was not acceptable in my eyes. In any situation. I don’t care if it’s anybody else jumping in the cage. We don’t do that as a professional.”
MMAFighting.com reached out to McGregor’s camp upon getting word of Mazzulli’s comment, to which his agent Audie Attar said Mazzulli’s claims were “not true.”
McGregor has not been officially added to UFC 219, but there have been several rumors that a fight between the lightweight champion and interim lightweight champ Tony Ferguson could headline the December 30th event in Las Vegas.
Do you believe McGregor should be punished for his actions at Bellator 187, and if so, should it go as far to remove him from potentially the biggest UFC pay-per-view event of the year?