One of the main talking points in the world of MMA this week has been the frankly ludicrous sum of money that the Nevada Athletic Commission have demanded of featherweight champion Conor McGregor after his actions in August’s UFC 202 Pre-Fight Press Conference.
Prior to his 5-round war with lightweight contender Nate Diaz, McGregor and his opponent took part in the now-infamous press event, one that quickly descended into absolute chaos. The skirmish began after Diaz decided to stand up and walk out of the event mid question, only to return with his entire Cesar Gracie posse, including his brother Nick, Gilbert Melendez and Jake Shields.
After some back-and-forth trash-talk between the Irishman and the crew in front of him, scenes quickly turned ugly, with projectiles being fired on both ends, something that resulted in the immediate end of the night’s proceedings.
Now, two months on, McGregor was reportedly given an official fine of $150,000 as well as a total of 50 hours community service, something that caused outrage among those who felt the punishment did not fit the crime. The reasoning behind the figure was that it amounted to 5% of his official purse (which clocked in at $3,000,000).
According to UFC President Dana White, McGregor has now ruled out ever fighting on Nevada soil again, a result of him feeling cheated by the inflated sum of money he has been seemingly forced to pay.
However, on Sunday Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett spoke to MMA Fighting and revealed that the MMA media had gotten the figure wrong by some distance, refuting the claim that the number stood at $150,000, instead revealing the sum was in fact half of that, with it sitting at $75,000.
Lundvall still pushing for a higher fine because they want this anti-bullying campaign to be good, "and decent campaigns cost money."
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) October 10, 2016
“It appears the media and others got it wrong, I understand that he’s upset,” Bennett said. “I understand that he commands a phenomenal following and paydays and he’s a world-renowned champ. I get that he’s frustrated — $75,000 is a lot of money. But I think the remark is inappropriate. In fairness to Conor — and I say this with the utmost respect — I just don’t think he understands how the system works when he’s fined.”
Despite the number not being as high as many would have thought, it still does seem like an awful lot for what happened, especially when you take into consideration the media buzz the entire debacle generated. But alas, it does set a bad precedent and for any sort of order to be maintained, such actions have to be taken, even if the focus of the punishment was on the two UFC 202 combatants, both of whom avoided suspension in any sense.
“He wasn’t suspended, nor were people in either fighter’s camp that participated in this,” Bennett said. “The Nevada State Athletic Commission didn’t go after anybody else. … I’ll be the first to say that we’ve got it right sometimes and we haven’t gotten it right other times. When we don’t, we want to right the wrong.”
Do you think the new figure is a more fitting sum given what happened? Or are the NSAC making a big mistake in potentially alienating a man who has brought in so much revenue to their state’s MMA in recent years.
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