Wednesday 20 February 2019

Conor McGregor handed six-month suspension over Khabib brawl at UFC 229 and NAC issue warning over 'unacceptable' trash talk

MMA fighter Conor McGregor
MMA fighter Conor McGregor
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Conor McGregor has been handed a six-month suspension, backdated to the day of UFC 229, following the brawl which broke out in the octagon following his fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The Dubliner was also fined $50,000 (€43,750) by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC). He will be free to compete by April 6.

Khabib received a nine-month suspension and a fine of $500,000 (€437,500). His suspension could be reduced to six months if he participates in an anti-bullying campaign in Nevada.

After stopping McGregor in the fourth round, Khabib jumped out of the octagon and attacked Dillon Danis, the Irishman’s training partner as members of his team piled onto a stricken McGregor as the defeated champion recovered from being forced into submission.

McGregor traded blows with the men who jumped him, before they were separated by security.

Two of Nurmagomedov's team have also been handed suspensions.

Both Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Zubaira Tukhugov have been banned for one year and fined $25,000 (€22,000).

Although McGregor’s pre-fight rhetoric was not relevant to Tuesday’s hearing, NAC executive director Bob Bennett highlighted that the commission needs to rein in some of the language used by fighters, describing some of the pre-fight trash talk as “unacceptable”.

“It’s gotten to the point with some of the unarmed combatants where it’s become totally unacceptable. There are not any other athletes, as far as I’m aware of, that have spoken at press conferences in the way that Mr. McGregor has. Although we have no precedence for it, I think it’s something that we should look to in the future and we should rein it in,” said Bennett at Tuesday’s hearing.

“[McGregor’s] press conference at the Radio City Music Hall was obviously under the jurisdiction of the New York Athletic Commission. The one that took place here…his language was a lot cleaner. I didn’t see any reason to add that to the settlement agreement, but I definitely think unequivocally that it’s something we need to take a more active role in and hold fighters accountable for their language.”

Neither Nurmagomedov nor McGregor were present at Tuesday’s hearing.

More to follow

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