Nevada commission Fined UFC champ Conor McGregor with $150,000 for bottle-throwing
Nevada commission hits UFC champ Conor McGregor with $150,000 bottle-throwing fine
The Nevada State Athletic Commission today voted unanimously to fine UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor five percent of his UFC 202 disclosed pay, or $150,000 of his $3 million “show purse.”
In an unusual move, the commission also put McGregor to work as a celebrity, earmarking half of his money to fund a public service announcement against bullying that he’ll appear in.
McGregor (20-3 MMA, 8-1 UFC) is also required to perform 50 hours of community service, double the recommendation of the commission’s legal rep after the Irish champ threw a water bottle at Nate Diaz (19-11 MMA, 14-9 UFC) at a pre-fight press conference for UFC.
Initially, the Nevada attorney general’s office, which represents the commission in disciplinary matters, recommended a $25,000 fine, 25 hours of community service, and, in a laughable addition, five hours of media training for McGregor.
But after McGregor’s attorney hinted at potential legal action against the commission and suggested a suspension against the fighter would force him to court in order to be able to fight lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez (28-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) at next month’s UFC 205 on Nov. 12, the commission pivoted. Yet it opted for another punishment – an offer from McGregor’s rep to participate in an anti-bullying campaign.
McGregor testified via telephone and contradicted his attorney’s earlier assertion that he was acting in self-defense when he threw the water bottle. He later admitted he simply reacted when he saw a bottle flying at a teammate. Still, he was contrite with the commission, noting, “I acted wrong, and all I will say is I’m sorry for this. This was a high stakes fight for me.”
The admission did little to deter the commission from upping the potential financial penalty, however, with commissioner Pat Lundvall suggesting five percent of his purse and commissioner Michon Martin suggesting 10 percent, or $300,000.
NSAC chairman Anthony Marnell and commissioner Francisco Aguilar expressed reservations with that level of fine, with Marnell noting, “I have a really hard time with a $300,000 fine for throwing a water bottle.” Aguilar pushed instead for a more community service time, particularly in service of the PSA.
“I think we benefit our community better with community service than a fine,” Aguilar said.
NSAC members hashed out the details of the anti-bullying ad, agreeing to order McGregor to perform 10 percent of his community service hours filming the PSA and putting 50 percent of the fine, or $75,000, toward production costs with the remainder going to the state’s general fund.
McGregor’s rep at one point suggested using the fighter’s documentary team to film the ad.
Diaz received a continuance from the NSAC for the complaint filed against him in the wake of the press conference dust-up.
McGregor defeated Diaz and avenged a March loss with his unanimous-decision victory at UFC 202. The non-title welterweight bout took place Aug. 20 and was one of the year’s biggest events.
Source : http://mmajunkie.com/