LAS VEGAS — The Nevada State Athletic Commission has fined UFC star Conor McGregor $150,000 for his actions during a UFC 202 news conference in August.
The fine represents 5 percent of the record-$3 million purse McGregor received for his majority decision against Nate Diaz on Aug. 20 at T-Mobile Arena. The NSAC also ordered 50 hours of community service. The punishment was passed unanimously.
McGregor has the right to appeal, but that seems unlikely based on his comments. The Irishman attended the disciplinary hearing via phone and admitted his actions during the news conference were “wrong” and that he would “learn from that.”
When asked by NSAC commissioner Pat Lundvall if he acknowledged a need for discipline on the matter, McGregor responded: “Yes, 100 percent. I acknowledge that.”
The $150,000 fine will be split in half between the state’s general fund and an anti-bullying campaign, which McGregor and his attorney proposed during the hearing. McGregor is also responsible for hearing fees. The attorney general’s office initially asked the commission consider a $25,000 fine, however the majority of commission members felt that amount would not have an impact on McGregor.
During fight week of UFC 202 in Las Vegas, McGregor and Diaz gave the event a huge boost by getting into it during a pre-fight news conference Aug. 17. After McGregor showed up 30 minutes late, Diaz elected to get up and leave early. As he exited the theater, Diaz started to taunt McGregor verbally.
Videos show Diaz then throwing a water bottle in McGregor’s direction. McGregor responded by grabbing bottles and cans from the stage and returning fire. Security and UFC officials eventually restored order.
According to the Nevada attorney general’s office, one MGM security officer sustained a minor injury from a can that was thrown by McGregor.
NSAC commissioner Michon Martin said the public safety issue was her biggest concern, as the news conference was open to the public. Martin originally proposed a fine of 10 percent of McGregor’s purse, or $300,000 — which is the percentage the NSAC fined Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier two years ago for a brawl in the MGM Lobby.
Ultimately, that figure was seen as too high. McGregor’s $3 million purse broke the previous record of $2.5 million for a disclosed fight purse in mixed martial arts history.
“I have a really hard time with a $300,000 fine for throwing a water bottle,” said NSAC chairman, Anthony Marnell. “Yes, someone could have gotten seriously hurt. No one did. Yes, they could have set the building on fire. They didn’t. They were throwing cans at each other like children.”
McGregor is scheduled to face Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight championship at UFC 205 on Nov. 12 in New York. He mentioned during his comments on Monday that he is in deep preparation for the fight.
Diaz, whose purse for the event was $2 million, has yet to appear before the commission for his disciplinary hearing. He was originally scheduled to do so on Monday, but he was granted a continuance.