HISCOE: Conor McGregor shouldn’t be fighting anywhere, but definitely not NYC

By Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch Columnist

Conor McGregor
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) reacts after his fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Nate Diaz has apparently given his notice that he will not be fighting Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244 next week. In a tweet captioned “Your [sic] all on steroids not me,” Diaz informed his followers that he “tested with elevated levels that they say might be from some tainted supplement.” Diaz responded to this claim with incredulity because he shops at Whole Foods.

Neither UFC or USADA has yet to comment on Diaz’s statement, but if taken at face value, Masvidal needs a new opponent for Nov. 2 in New York City. There are reports that Leon Edwards has been on standby should a replacement be needed, but an Edwards-Masvidal matchup feels uninspired and unworthy of an MSG main event so other options may need to be considered. 

One person who absolutely should not be considered for that slot is Conor McGregor. 

McGregor made headlines of his own Thursday morning when he held a solo press conference in Russia. The event was primarily promotion for his whiskey brand, but he did drop the nugget that he intends to fight on Jan. 18 in Las Vegas against an unnamed opponent. UFC president Dana White did confirm through ESPN that they are in negotiations with McGregor for a fight on that date, but things are far from official. 

McGregor has also made some less favorable headlines of late, specifically with the New York Times. Last week The Times reported that McGregor was under investigation for an alleges sexual assault outside of a Dublin pub two weeks ago. This is on top of another ongoing investigation of a separate sexual assault last December. It’s for this very reason that McGregor fighting anytime soon is a terrible idea, but McGregor fighting in New York would be utterly suicidal.

UFC should not be considering McGregor for a fight while these potential charges are hanging over his head. If the allegations are true, McGregor needs to sort his life out. He’s a married man with two kids. Not that being a husband and a father makes sexual assault worse than it already is, but really, get it together man. If McGregor is innocent of these charges, he should focus on allowing due process to play out before taking any fights.

If McGregor were to take a fight in New York, he’d be taking a fight in the media capital of the world and would be competing mere blocks from the publication that attached his name to these allegations last week. With this story out there, there is no chance that New York media will play as nice as the media in Russia today was. We know that the UFC likes to keep certain media members out of their events, but it would not end well if they tried to play that game with the New York Times. 

Come to think of it, if UFC and McGregor want to lay low and fly under the media radar for the next little bit, Leon Edwards may be perfect for this fight. 

More from Mike Hiscoe:

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