The Ultimate Fight Championship (UFC) legend and two-division champion, Conor McGregor, called it quits in a tweet on Sunday, June 7. He returned to the octagon in January after a year but due to the Coronavirus pandemic, he didn't get any fights since and announced his third retirement in four years. He earlier decided to hang his fighting gloves in 2016 and in 2019.
The Irishman with a 22-4 career record, won his first title in the featherweight category in 2015 and followed it up by a lightweight category division championship in 2016. He came back from retirement in January 2020 and won his bout against Donald Cerrone in UFC 246. He even made his professional boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2017 but lost in a technical knockout.
While combat sportspersons are known for announcing abrupt retirement to leverage contract negotiations, it is unknown whether the Irishman will backtrack from his retirement again. UFC President Dana White was also willing to give him a title shot this year in the welterweight category.
But considering, he is finally hanging up his fighting gloves, here are some controversial moments of his career:
Brawl with Khabib
While animated press conferences before bouts are not normal in combat sports, McGregor and his rival Khabib Nurmagomedov took it too far. After winning against McGregor in UFC 229, Khabib charged the Irishman's training partner Dillon Danis, who was allegedly insulting his religion.
McGregor and Khabib's cousin Abubakar Nurmagomedov tried to exit the octagon and a fight broke out between the two. McGregor punched Abubakar. Khabib's cornermen retaliated and a brawl broke out. McGregor and Khabib were fined $50,000 and $500,000 respectively by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, who were hosting the bout.
"I'm a human being, but I don't understand how people can talk about jumping on the cage when he talks about my religion, he talked about my country, he talks about my father and he comes to Brooklyn and he broke the bus and almost killed a couple of people. What about this?" Khabib said after the incident.
Infamous Bus Attack
The bad blood between McGregor and Khabib started with the infamous bus attack ahead of UFC 223 in 2018. McGregor's Russian teammate Artem Lobov criticized Khabib for pulling out of the fight citing injuries and alleged botched weight cuts. He also called his countryman a coward for not honouring his obligation to the fans.
Khabib didn't take criticism well. With his whole team, he was seen grabbing Lobov by his neck at the hotel. When McGregor came to know about the incident, he with his whole team boarded his private jet and flew to New York to challenge Khabib at the Barclays Center.
While Khabib and few other fighters were on a bus after the event, McGregor arrived with his entire team. The Irishman tried throwing metal railing, trash cans and steel chairs at the bus. But it was a metal dolly which he used to break the window of the bus, injuring two UFC fighters Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg who had to pull out of UFC 223. The incident also broke a UFC official's knuckle.
McGregor was charged with three counts of assault and criminal mischief. He was released on $50,000 bail and later received only two days of anger management and five days of community service sentence.
"Obviously, everybody is shaken up. When 30 thugs storm a building when these guys were all cutting weight and getting ready for a fight. This is the most disgusting thing that's happened in the history of the company," White said.
Punching an old man
At a Dublin pub, McGregor was seen punching an old man. The incident occurred when McGregor offered his own brand of whisky to all the customer of the pub for free. When the old man refused twice, McGregor after a verbal altercation punched him. Gardai (Ireland police) charged him for it. While the charges could land him in jail for up to six months, he ended up paying just 1,000 euros.
Arrested for robbery
The notorious McGregor's temper didn't seem to come down. In March 2019, he was arrested for robbery in Miami, Florida. Outside the Fontainebleau Hotel, after an altercation with a fan, who was trying to take a picture with McGregor, the latter snatched the phone and smashed it on the ground. Later he took the phone with him to his hotel room.
Police arrested McGregor on charges of strong-armed robbery and criminal mischief. He was in custody for a few hours before being released on $5,000 bond. The fan filed a civil lawsuit but both parties settled the matter out-of-court.
Sexual assault investigation
McGregor faced two sexual assault charges in Dublin, the capital of Ireland. The first case surfaced when a woman filed a complaint about sexual assault. In 2019, another case emerged where a woman in her 20s filed a complaint of sexual assault in a parked vehicle outside a Dublin pub. McGregor was arrested in January 2019 and questioned by Dublin police. However, he was released pending further investigation.