MCGREGOR PUNISHED BY COMMISSION OVER WATER BOTTLES
Conor McGregor had to face the music in front of the Nevada Athletic Commission today and, while it could have been worse, he is still facing a rather hefty fine for his part in the fracas at the UFC 202 pre-fight press conference in August.
After some back and forth between commissioners at the hearing held this afternoon, McGregor was fined $150,000 and ordered to complete 50 hours of community service. The fine was determined based on a determination of 5 percent of his reported income for the fight would be an appropriate fine. McGregor earned a disclosed income of $3 million for the fight. There was debate as to whether McGregor should be fined as much as 10 percent of his purse, which would have been $300,000, but the higher mark was said to be “really extreme” by commissioner Anthony Marnell.Franciso Aguilar proposed a much lower fine of $25,000 and, in a moment of unintended comedy, the Attorney General recommended media training for McGregor, the biggest draw in the sport’s history. Commissioner Pat Lundvall also had an unopened energy drink on her desk to demonstrate the weight of the projectile and damage it could cause to a person.
McGregor, who was present via telephone link, was apologetic for the incident, claiming that his emotions got the better of him and that he simply retaliated once he saw the bottles being thrown his way. Portions of his fine and community service will go towards a state anti-bullying campaign.
A continuance was ordered for Nate Diaz’s hearing for his role in the incident, but one can assume he will be looking at a similar fine, but potentially more for since his side started the throwing of bottles.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: This is a fair punishment when you consider the potential for injury that was present when McGregor threw water bottles and an energy drink through the crowd towards Diaz and his team. On a percentage basis, they were actually easier on McGregor than they were on Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier who were both fined 10% of their respective purses after getting into a brawl onstage at a press-conference. I would argue that McGregor and Diaz’s behavior was much more dangerous to bystanders than Jones and Cormier’s was. 5% of McGregor’s show purse is paltry when you consider the totality of what he made for the fight after pay-per-view bonuses. One third of that fine will come from his $50,000 fight of the night bonus so this fine is probably closer to 2% of his actual income for the night. 5% of Diaz’s show purse will be $100,000 so I would expect him to be fined at least that much, but possibly they will at least match McGregor’s $150,000 since he was the instigator. I also don’t expect Diaz to be as apologetic in front of the commission as McGregor was, which could hurt him.
MONDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-According to a Bloomberg report, Goldman Sachs has been given a cautionary warning by the Federal Reserve bank for the large amount of debt used to finance the WME-IMG purchase of UFC. A massive $1.8 billion in debt was used for the purchase and estimates on the earning potential for UFC going forward may have been exaggerated to show the company’s debt load to be within the recommended six-times that of earnings. More conservative estimates would put the ratio well outside that threshold.
–Dana White has been denying rumors that Georges St. Pierre vs. Anderson Silva is being targeted for UFC 206 in Toronto. At this point, that shouldn’t change anyone’s thoughts on whether the fight happens, given White’s track record in this situation.
-UFC 204 drew a sellout of 16,000 fans for a $1.96 million live gate for a show that took place in the middle of the night in Manchester, England.
-Bellator has announced Eduardo Dantas vs. Joe Warren for the Bantamweight Championship and Pat Curran vs. John Teixeira for a pair of shows on Dec. 2 and 3 from Thackerville, Oklahoma.
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST: UFC picks Fight of Night and other honors from UFC 204, post-fight notes
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)
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