McGregor facing criminal charges after causing chaos at UFC event

The build-up to UFC 223 in Brooklyn looked more like a promo for WrestleMania on Thursday when Conor McGregor showed up at the Barclays Center to start a fight. The implications of the ensuing melee could be felt far beyond the main event on Saturday, as McGregor now faces criminal charges and stands to lose a lot more than just the lightweight championship belt.

McGregor’s frustration likely stemmed from losing that belt without ever defending it. He won the lightweight title in November 2016 but hasn’t fought in UFC since, and now the lightweight title is once again up for grabs on Saturday in a bout between Max Holloway and Khabib Nurmagomedov. The target of McGregor’s attack appeared to be a bus carrying Nurmagomedov and his crew, and he was caught on camera throwing a hand dolly through a window on the bus, which would appear to be the basis for the criminal charges.

Three fights have been cancelled as a result of McGregor’s chaos. Michael Chiesa can no longer fight Anthony Pettis after suffering multiple facial lacerations when McGregor broke the window on the bus, and glass became lodged in the eye of Ray Borg, whose fight against Brandon Moreno has been cancelled. The bout between Artem Lobov and Alex Caceres was also pulled from the fight card because of Lobov’s involvement during the incident as a member of McGregor’s entourage. UFC 223 had already seen a last-minute change to its main event when top lightweight contender Tony Ferguson was sidelined by an injury, making Thursday’s losses all the more painful.

New York police have charged McGregor with three counts of misdemeanor assault and one count of felony criminal mischief, but beyond the criminal charges he faces the prospect of being sued civilly by UFC and the fighters who were negatively impacted by his actions. Chiesa, Pettis, Borg, Moreno, and Caceres could all make the case that they have suffered financially due to their fights being cancelled, and UFC appears likely to pursue all legal avenues against McGregor after Dana White called Thursday’s melee “the most disgusting thing that has ever happened” in UFC history.