SportsPulse: Can Dana White and Conor McGregor put this messy situation behind them? We talk with MMAJunkie’s John Morgan about the future for McGregor in the UFC.
USA TODAY Sports
BROOKLYN — Conor McGregor accepted a plea deal Thursday that will spare the former UFC champ jail time.
Wearing a navy blue suit, McGregor appeared in Kings County Criminal Court for a status hearing, where he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct as prosecutors agreed to drop two felonies and other charges that stemmed from his attack on a bus in April.
When the judge asked whether McGregor had anything to say on his own behalf, he responded, “No, your honor.”
Under terms of the deal, McGregor will be required to perform five days of community service and undergo up to three days of anger management. Assistant district attorney Janet Gleeson
said in court that McGregor had already paid restitution for the damage he caused.
“This is a fair resolution that holds the defendant accountable, ensures restitution for the victims and requires the defendant to perform community service where he can reflect on his conduct and give back to society,” the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports.
After his hearing, McGregor made a brief statement to members of the media and a handful of fans gathered outside court before departing in a black SUV.
“I just want to say I’m thankful to the DA and the judge for allowing me to move forward,” McGregor said. “I want to say to my friends, my family, my fans, thank you for the support.”
The deal did not include a probation term, something that could have made it difficult to enter at border crossings – a crucial component as McGregor, a native and resident of Ireland, looks to resume his MMA career.
“This (deal) has zero impact on immigration, which was quite frankly a significant factor in district attorney (Eric) Gonzalez’s decision here,” Bruce Maffeo, McGregor’s attorney, said outside court. “His office has been committed to dealing fairly and appropriately with people who are here with immigration problems.”
McGregor and others were seen on video in April throwing objects at a bus full of UFC fighters at Barclays Center, an incident that forced Michael Chiesa (facial injuries) and Ray Borg (eye injury) off UFC 223. McGregor was arrested several hours later, and the Irishman had been free on $50,000 bail.
Cian Cowley, another MMA fighter who was seen on video attacking the bus, also appeared in court Thursday. He accepted a similar agreement.
UFC president Dana White has said multiple times that McGregor, the sport’s biggest draw, would have to resolve the case before resuming his career in the octagon. With that effectively taking place on Thursday, it’s expected McGregor will fight by year’s end, potentially against undefeated UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“Conor has been training. He’s in shape. He’s ready to go,” Audie Attar, McGregor’s manager, said Thursday. “Now it’s about getting back to business. We hope to have something to announce really soon.”