While it was the Nevada Athletic Commission handing out the punishment to Conor McGregor two weeks ago, it looks like it may be McGregor who has the last laugh.
After nine years as chair of the NAC, Pat Lundvall’s appointment with the commission will end on Oct. 31. Lundvall reportedly spread the word in an email that she had received a call from Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval’s office Thursday, informing her that she will not be re-appointed.
Lundvall was most recently a part of the controversial decision to fine Conor McGregor $150,000 for his part in the UFC 202 press conference water bottle throwing incident. While the fine was later re-interpreted to be only $75,000, the commission and Lundvall faced heavy criticism for the decision. Lundvall had even advocated for an even heavier fine of $300,000, 10 percent of McGregor’s show purse, but was talked down to $150,000 by her colleagues.
While McGregor was apologetic and accepting of the NAC’s punishment during the hearing itself, McGregor expressed his displeasure with the punishment after the fact, declaring that he would never fight in Nevada again.
While there is no indication McGregor or the UFC had anything directly to do with the move, a pattern has started to present itself of the NAC reacting criticisms of their punishments, specifically when it comes to McGregor.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: The whole thing a week ago where apparently every outlet reporting on McGregor’s fine got it wrong and the fine was actually half of what we all thought it was raised alarm bells and now with this, it’s hard to chalk that up to coincidence. There’s an old saying that goes “Once is a mistake, twice is a choice,” and it looks like the NAC is making the choice to make things better with UFC and McGregor. With Floyd Mayweather not fighting these days and only a small handful of difference makers in UFC, I can understand the NAC not wanting to alienate one of the few fighters who can bring in a lot of revenue for the state. However, it’s a major credibility killer when the commission is bending to accommodate star fighters and removing commissioners that the promotion doesn’t like. Unfortunately, things like this will continue to happen as long as there is big money to be made for fight promoters and the state in Nevada and really anywhere else. It’s a sad reality of prize fighting.
SUNDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
–According to Jon Jones’s lawyers, USADA has independently confirmed that at least one of Jones’ supplements was tainted with the drugs he failed for shortly before UFC 200. Jones has a hearing scheduled for Nov. 10 with the NAC.
-Jose Aldo tweeted that he is “rethinking” his retirement. He wrote (translated by Bloody Elbow) “I’ve been rethinking my retirement from MMA. I talked to my family, and, after seeing all the requests from my fans, there will be some good stuff coming for you guys. Thanks Russia.”
-Joanna Jedrzejczyk has recently parted ways with her manager and is looking for a new manager who can “Bring me some money.”
-Former UFC lightweight Mehdi Baghdad told Bloody Elbow a story of how when his management called Joe Silva to tell him Baghdad needed to pull out of his scheduled Oct. 15 fight due to an abdominal hernia, Silva replied “You need to pull out? We cut you.” Baghdad chose surgery over continuing with the fight and was subsequently cut last month despite the cancellation of the Oct. 15 show.
FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENT ROUNDUP…
-Gegard Mousasi vs. Uriah Hall is the new main event for Nov. 19 from Belfast after Gunnar Nelson pulled out of his fight with Dong Hyun Kim due to injury. No word on a new opponent for Kim or if the fight with Nelson will be moved to a later date
-Kyle Noke will now face Omari Akhmedov at Fight night Sydney on Nov. 26 after Dominque Steele was forced to pull out.
-Ilima MacFarlane vs. Emily Ducote and Chidi Njokuani vs Andre Fialho for Bellator 167 on Dec. 3 from Thackerville, Oklahoma.
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: SATURDAY NEWS DIGEST 10/22: Bisping fires back at Henderson and says judges got it right, Anderson Silva endorses Hillary (w/Analysis)
(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.)