Conor McGregor won’t fight in Las Vegas for the “foreseeable future” after the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) hit the UFC champ with a $150,000 fine and 50 hours of community service earlier this week, he tells Rolling Stone.
McGregor was punished for his involvement in the press conference incident, although it involved both his and Nate Diaz’s fight camps prior to his UFC 202 fight in August. After McGregor showed up 35 minutes late to the news conference, Diaz opted to get up and leave early, which sparked a chaotic scene inside MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
McGregor, Diaz and both their respective fight camps began tossing objects at each other, with “The Notorious” launching multiple full water bottles and Monster Energy Drink cans into a crowd where Diaz was standing.
The commission felt this was worthy of a significant punishment, and on Tuesday, McGregor was issued a 5 percent fine of his $3 million fight purse for the UFC 202 fight with Diaz (which he won by majority decision), as well as 50 hours of community service and the requirement of helping launch an anti-bully campaign.
Aside from a tweet where McGregor bragged: “I get fined more than these bums get paid,” the brash Irishman has been silent on the issue. He conducted his first interview on the topic with Rolling Stone, and he confirmed a recent statement from UFC President Dana White revealing that he has no desire to compete again in Nevada.
“I don’t see Nevada in my future, for the foreseeable future is how I see it,” McGregor says. “I’m free to do what I want. … I’m good. I’m good. New York, New York. That’s what I think.”
McGregor cannot protest the fine because he called into the NSAC meeting and on top of apologizing for his actions, said he would be willing to accept any punishment deemed fitting. He thought putting himself out there in that way would help his cause, but instead it backfired, as the originally proposed $25,000 fine went up to an outrageous $150,000.
UFC boss White called the $150,000 fine “insane,” and McGregor agrees, though he hinted it won’t be easy for the commission to collect.
“I thought they might respect [McGregor calling in] a little bit more,” McGregor says. “I owned up. I man’d up. I’m here. I apologized. I’m not trying to blame nobody, although they fired the rounds off first. I didn’t think they would even go that route because I didn’t think this was like a real thing. Are they going to come and arrest me or what the fuck is that? I wanted to give them the respect and I felt they would have respected that but they didn’t. So, whatever. It is what it is. Good luck trying to get it.”
Diaz was originally slated to receive punishment for his involvement in the UFC 202 news conference incident at the same meeting, but his hearing was pushed back to a later date. His day will come eventually, though, and although McGregor thinks his rival shouldn’t be handled differently, he said he hopes Diaz isn’t raked over the coals the same way.
“I do not wish to see Nate get any more or any less than me,” McGregor said. “I don’t want to see either of us have something like this happen. But we’ll see. I don’t know. If they went that way on me I don’t know what way they’re going to go on him. He threw the bottle first, but I don’t wish he get more than me or anything like that. I just wish we’d get it sorted out and get on with it and carry on.”
McGregor can’t exert too much energy on the situation, though, because he has much grander things to focus on, mainly his UFC 205 main event fight against Eddie Alvarez (28-4, 3-1). McGregor, the current UFC featherweight champ, moves up to lightweight to challenge Alvarez and attempt to become the first simultaneous two-division champion in UFC history.
The November 12th event at Madison Square Garden in New York City is being built up as arguably the biggest in UFC history, and given McGregor’s current distain for Nevada, it could be the location of many more of his future fights.
“Respect to them,” McGregor said of the NSAC. “They wanted me to pay them and work for them at the same time. How can I not respect that? Good luck to them.”