MMA star McGregor says he regrets Brooklyn melee - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

MMA star McGregor says he regrets Brooklyn melee

By MICHAEL R. SISAK
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - Mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor expressed regret Thursday for a backstage melee at a Brooklyn arena that saw him caught on camera hurling a hand truck at a bus full of fighters, and he is negotiating a plea deal to resolve criminal charges in the case.

The Irish brawler, 29, and his friend, fellow fighter and co-defendant Cian Cowley, 25, remained free on bail after a court appearance that went quicker than a typical five-minute round in the UFC octagon. They each face up to seven years in prison on a top charge of felony criminal mischief, but a deal would almost certainly reduce or eliminate their time behind bars.

McGregor and Cowley strode into a packed courtroom in tight blue suits, past rows of reporters and other defendants who were waiting for them to finish up so their cases could be called. The duo stood and said little during the appearance.

Judge Raymond Rodriguez ordered them to return July 26.

"I regret my actions that led me here today," McGregor said outside court afterward, a departure from his tone in the incident's immediate aftermath. "I understand the seriousness of this matter and I'm hopeful to get it resolved soon."

Assistant District Attorney Janet Gleeson said the case hasn't been presented to a grand jury for possible indictment because of the plea negotiations, signaling interest from all sides to resolve the matter swiftly.

McGregor cheered Cowley as he fought in Belfast on Saturday and flew with him on a private jet to the U.S. for the hearing. Cowley said after the fight that he was hoping to get the case "out of the way."

McGregor, once the UFC's simultaneous 145- and 155-pound champion, hasn't fought since the fracas.

The UFC stripped him of its 155-pound championship belt in April because he had not fought in 17 months. During that time, McGregor turned to boxing and secured a guaranteed $30 million payday despite losing a highly-anticipated bout last year to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

While the Mayweather fight propelled McGregor to No. 4 on Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid athletes, he lamented on Instagram last week that he would have been No. 2 if his arrest hadn't cost him a shot at fighting at UFC 224 on May 12.

"Something came up however," he wrote.

A UFC spokesman did not immediately respond to questions about McGregor's future with the organization.

McGregor, widely known for his fight-related antics, was seen on camera attacking the bus in a Barclays Center loading dock after a press event ahead of UFC 223, which featured the sport's biggest card of the year.

He and an entourage that UFC president Dana White described as "20 hoodlums that flew in from Ireland" crashed the event allegedly looking for retaliation against main event fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov, who had been in an altercation with McGregor's friend, Artem Lobov.

Video showed McGregor tossing trash cans and being blocked from throwing a barricade before he launched the hand truck. Nurmagomedov was on the bus and said he had to be restrained to keep from fighting McGregor.

Fighters Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg were hurt by shattered glass, forcing them from their bouts.

White said McGregor justified the confrontation in a text exchange just before he turned himself in to police. According to White, he said it "had to be done."

___

Follow Sisak at twitter.com/mikesisak

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • NationalMore>>

  • Administration seeks to expand immigrant family detention

    Administration seeks to expand immigrant family detention

    Saturday, June 23 2018 12:26 AM EDT2018-06-23 04:26:10 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 7:05 AM EDT2018-06-24 11:05:18 GMT
    (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File). FILE - In this July 31, 2014, file photo, an artificial turf soccer field sits in the middle of the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas. The immigration detention facility has been retooled to house adults ...(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File). FILE - In this July 31, 2014, file photo, an artificial turf soccer field sits in the middle of the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas. The immigration detention facility has been retooled to house adults ...
    (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File). FILE - In this July 31, 2014, file photo, an artificial turf soccer field sits in the middle of the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas. The immigration detention facility has been retooled to house adults ...(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File). FILE - In this July 31, 2014, file photo, an artificial turf soccer field sits in the middle of the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas. The immigration detention facility has been retooled to house adults ...

    The Trump administration is calling for the expanded use of family detention for immigrant parents and children who are stopped along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    More >>

    The Trump administration is calling for the expanded use of family detention for immigrant parents and children who are stopped along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    More >>
  • Zsa Zsa, the English bulldog, wins World's Ugliest Dog title

    Zsa Zsa, the English bulldog, wins World's Ugliest Dog title

    Sunday, June 24 2018 12:36 AM EDT2018-06-24 04:36:02 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 6:54 AM EDT2018-06-24 10:54:12 GMT
    (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu). Zsa Zsa, an English Bulldog owned by Megan Brainard, stands onstage after being announced the winner of the World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, Calif., Saturday, June 23, 2018.(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu). Zsa Zsa, an English Bulldog owned by Megan Brainard, stands onstage after being announced the winner of the World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, Calif., Saturday, June 23, 2018.

    A 9-year-old English bulldog was named the winner of the 2018 World's Ugliest Dog contest in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    More >>

    A 9-year-old English bulldog was named the winner of the 2018 World's Ugliest Dog contest in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    More >>
  • Koko the gorilla used smarts, empathy to help change views

    Koko the gorilla used smarts, empathy to help change views

    Thursday, June 21 2018 6:41 AM EDT2018-06-21 10:41:47 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 6:37 AM EDT2018-06-24 10:37:57 GMT
    Koko was born at the San Francisco Zoo, and Dr. Francine Patterson began teaching the gorilla sign language that became part of a Stanford University project in 1974. (Source: KTVU/CNN)Koko was born at the San Francisco Zoo, and Dr. Francine Patterson began teaching the gorilla sign language that became part of a Stanford University project in 1974. (Source: KTVU/CNN)

    Koko, the gorilla who mastered sign language, has died in her sleep at the foundation's preserve in California's Sana Cruz mountains on Tuesday.

    More >>

    Koko, the gorilla who mastered sign language, has died in her sleep at the foundation's preserve in California's Sana Cruz mountains on Tuesday.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly