Conor McGregor expresses regret over bus brawl
Mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor expressed regret to reporters Thursday over an attack on a bus of fellow fighters in New York two months ago, following a brief Brooklyn court appearance on charges relating to the incident.
“I regret my actions that led me here today,” McGregor said after his court hearing, in a video from CNN affiliate WPIX. “I understand the seriousness of this matter, and I am hopeful that it gets resolved soon.”
McGregor and friend Cian Cowley, both charged in the April 5 attack, made a roughly 90-second court appearance Thursday morning, in which a prosecuting attorney mentioned that the pair and their attorneys are in plea negotiations with prosecutors.
Both are due back in court July 26. They have been free on bail since shortly after the incident, and have been allowed to travel to their native Ireland.
They returned to New York this week for the court date.
Authorities say McGregor and Cowley threw objects at a bus carrying Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, injuring at least two athletes a couple of days before UFC 223.
McGregor is accused of throwing something through the window of the bus, according to an NYPD source with knowledge of the event. Video from TMZ Sports shows someone picking up a two-wheeled dolly and throwing it into a bus window, smashing the glass.
Prosecutors also have said McGregor punched a security guard at Barclays Center during the melee. He was charged with felony criminal mischief, as well as charges of assault, attempted assault, menacing and reckless endangerment.
Cowley, who is accused of throwing a chair at the bus, was charged with criminal mischief, assault and reckless endangerment.
The bus was carrying fighters who were scheduled to compete in April 7’s UFC 223 bouts at the Barclays Center — including Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was to fight for McGregor’s former lightweight title. The fighters had just wrapped up a media-day event at the arena.
McGregor, who was not on the UFC 223 card, was stripped of the lightweight title because of his long absence from UFC fights. But he and an entourage were let into the arena by someone affiliated with a credentialed website, UFC president Dana White has said.
McGregor’s group attacked a bus using trash cans, metal barricades and the dolly, White told website MMAjunkie.
White said McGregor had “some sort of beef” with Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov wasn’t injured in the attack, and went on to defeat Al Iaquinta for UFC’s lightweight title two days later.
But the UFC said two fighters suffered injuries and had to abandon their April 7 bouts: lightweight fighter Michael Chiesa, with head and facial cuts from broken glass, and flyweight Ray Borg, who suffered corneal abrasions.