SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST 10/16: McGregor’s fine actually half of what reported, Vitor not retired quite yet (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

By Mike Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

Vitor Belfort (photo credit Per Haljestam © USA Today Sports)


In a strange twist of events to an already strange situation, Conor McGregor’s $150,000 fine for his part in the UFC 202 press conference bottle throwing fiasco has either been reduced or the fine was never as hefty as first thought.
Nevada Athletic Commission director Bob Bennett told MMA Fighting that McGregor is only facing a fine of $75,000 and not the $150,000 that was reported here and everywhere else. Bennett explained that the other $75,000 of the fine was simply the value of a public-service announcement McGregor would take part in for the NAC.
No reporting of the hearing which was broadcast live on UFC Fight Pass, nor comments from UFC President Dana White or McGregor himself, interpreted part of the fine as “value.” Bennett said that “It appears the media and others got it wrong.”
In rewatching the hearing, there is reference to $75,000 going towards the general fund and $75,000 going towards the PSA, but the implication was clear that it was coming from McGregor’s purse. Anthony Marnell said at the hearing, “I think we pick a percentage of the purse, we divide that, so one (portion) goes to the general fund… so that would be $75,000 in the general fund, and that would be $75,000 towards the PSA.”
In her official motion, commissioner Pat Lundvall proposed a portion of the 50 hours of community service be used towards a PSA campaign and reiterated that 50 percent of the financial portion of the punishment would go toward the publication and broadcast of the PSA. An amendment was then made to stipulate 10 percent of the public service hours (5) would be for the PSA and the rest would be “in the field” working with kids. Another amendment was then made and accepted to give a six month window for McGregor to complete the community service. The motion was then put to vote and passed unanimously.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: A lot of people were critical of the NAC and the fine after it was imposed, but I wasn’t one of them. Considering the extra money McGregor made as a direct result of the publicity this incident generated, $150,000 is not steep by any means. Many pointed out that Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier were fined much less for an arguably higher risk incident, and they are right, but Jones and Cormier were fined double what McGregor was on a percentage basis. Their disclosed salaries were much much less than McGregor’s and UFC 182 did about half the number of pay per view buys UFC 202 did.

If the commission did, in fact, reduce McGregor’s fine in light of the criticism they have faced, he is now being fined at one-quarter the rate Jones and Cormier were, and even less once pay-per-view bonuses are taken into account.

The most laughable aspect of all of this is how they are now trying to convince people that the PSA is some sort of value that doesn’t come out of McGregor’s pocket. Where, then, is the $75,000 for the PSA coming from?  If you can apply that to the PSA, why not apply that to the community service? What is McGregor’s time worth? Let’s add that to the fine. There really isn’t any consistency or transparency here and only makes the commission look less competent than many thought they were to begin with.  McGregor had said this week that he didn’t want to fight in Nevada any time soon, so one has to wonder if this is a way for the commission to make good with McGregor and lure him back.


-John Morgan at MMA Junkie reported on a strange missing judge issue at UFC 204 in Manchester that has Adriano Martins looking to have his split-decision loss to Leonardo Santos ruled a no-contest. One of the three judges, Jeff Mullen, was not in the assigned judges chair to start the bout, but was seated at ringside to watch the fight. When it was discovered a judge was missing, Mullen was brought to the proper location for the second and third rounds. Mullen scored the round and the fight for Santos. England does not have a commission in place to oversee MMA so UFC regulates itself when in the market.

-There was some confusion Saturday over whether Vitor Belfort had announced his retirement. He made an Instagram post captioned in Portuguese and English that read: “I decided that I will end this chapter of my life looking at the mirror and recognizing himself.” When reached for comment by MMA Junkie, Belfort refuted any retirement speculation. “I don’t want to end my career the way it is right now,” he said. “I want to look at the mirror and recognize myself as the fighter I always have been.”


-Francimar Barroso vs. Darren Stewart for UFC Fight Night: Sao Paolo on Nov. 19.

-Jenel Lausa vs. Yao Zhikui has been rebooked for Nov. 26 in Melbourne after yesterday’s UFC show from Mania was cancelled.

-Derrick Lewis vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov will headline the Dec. 9 Fight Pass show from Albany.

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S NEWS UPDATE: SATURDAY NEWS DIGEST 10/15: Dana White ready to sit down with Jose Aldo and try to fix things, Mousasi says Conor threatened him for criticism

SATURDAY NEWS DIGEST 10/15: Dana White ready to sit down with Jose Aldo and try to fix things, Mousasi says Conor threatened him for criticism

(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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