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Wednesday 13 December 2017

UFC star Conor McGregor has fine for Vegas pre-bout fracas reduced

Conor McGregor at the weigh-in for his fight against Eddie Alvarez in New York in November, as a fine imposed on him was reduced (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
Conor McGregor at the weigh-in for his fight against Eddie Alvarez in New York in November, as a fine imposed on him was reduced (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

UFC star Conor McGregor's punishment for a fracas with a rival during a pre-fight news conference in Las Vegas last year has been significantly reduced.

The Nevada Athletic Commission approved an agreement with McGregor that settled on a 25,000 dollar (£20,000) fine, 25 hours of community service and just over 1,000 dollars (£800) for its legal costs.

The commission had previously penalised McGregor with 50 hours of community service and a 150,000 dollar (£120,000) fine, of which half was meant to go towards an anti-bullying public service announcement.

Commission chairman Anthony Marnell III said the 150,000 penalty was too high, even though he voted to approve it, and denied that McGregor was receiving preferential treatment.

T hat fine, which was recommended by the attorney general's office, was calculated as a percentage of the 3 million dollars (£2.4 million) that McGregor was paid for his August 20 win over Nate Diaz during UFC 202.

"If you go out and look in all of sports for things that get thrown, the fines are not very high for whatever reason," Mr Marnell said after the hearing.

"I think that we didn't have any precedence to go on here ... Usually, when somebody comes before us with a doping violation, we have a lot of precedent for that. Throwing a Monster can and a water bottle at a press conference, that's a first."

McGregor arrived about 30 minutes late at the August 17 press conference before the highly anticipated fight, a rematch five months after a bout that Diaz won.

As McGregor answered questions, Diaz stood up and left the stage. Diaz and McGregor and members of their groups yelled at each other and eventually began hurling water bottles at one other.

A complaint by the Nevada state attorney general's office said a security officer suffered a minor injury when he was struck by a beverage can.

Diaz paid his 50,000 dollar (£44,000) fine. Mr Marnell said Diaz will be given an opportunity to have his fine reconsidered by the commission and possibly get a reimbursement.

McGregor's lawyer, Jennifer Goldstein, said the fine will be paid on Wednesday.

Her client has six months to complete the community service, which he can carry out anywhere he wants, according to the agreement.

Commissioners discussed the possibility of McGregor having anti-bullying conversations with children.

"It's the type of situation that one hopes it had never happened, but he thinks that the resolution was fair," Ms Goldstein said after the meeting.

"I won't purport to speak for him, but I think that his testimony at the last hearing showed that he in fact understands the severity of the impact it had."

After the commission imposed the fine in October, McGregor filed a petition in a Las Vegas court indicating his intention to ask a judge to review the commission's decision.

The agreement signed on Wednesday bars McGregor and the commission from suing each other in connection with the disciplinary action.

The commission can approve any licence applications from McGregor after he pays the fine and lawyer's fees, even before he completes the community service.

McGregor has been vocal about his willingness to box against Floyd Mayweather Jr, though both fighters would have to clear a number of hurdles to make it happen.

Bookies in Las Vegas do not give McGregor much of a chance, with Mayweather being 25-1 favourite in odds posted at a sports book last month.


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