McGregor Talks Punching Old Man In The Face

During an hour-long interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, former UFC double-champion Conor McGregor offered up an apology for punching an old man in the face.


“In reality it doesn’t matter what happened there. I was in the wrong,” McGregor said of the incident where he punched an older man in the face while in a Dublin pub. “That man deserved to enjoy his time in the pub without having it to end the way it did. Although five months ago it was and I tried to make amends and I made amends back then.

“That does not even matter. I was in the wrong. I must come here before you and take accountability and take responsibility.”

“I owe it to my mother, my father, my family. I owe it to the people who trained me in martial arts. That’s not who I am,” McGregor said to Helwani. “That’s not the reason I got into martial arts or studying combat sports. The reason I got into it was to defend against that type of scenario so to see that and although I have been making steps and continually making steps to do better and be better, to see it, it’s like a dagger into my heart as a young martial artist.

“I’m just here to own up to that and move on and carry on and face what’s coming with it.”

When asked about any legal ramifications, McGregor is letting the Irish police handle it and will take whatever consequences come his way.

“I just have to wait and see what happens. Whatever comes my way, I will face it,” McGregor said. “Whatever comes my way, I deserve it. I will face this head on. I will not hide from it. I was in the wrong. It was completely unacceptable behavior from a man in my position. What happens, I will face.”

When asked of another recent issue, when he broke the phone of a fan who was pestering him for a photo, McGregor admits he needs better control of himself.

“I seem to get into great spaces and in that Miami trip, I was preparing for battle. I brought my mother out, it was her 60th birthday, we brought the whole family out and then the situation arose,” McGregor said. “I need to stop reacting to the bait.

“People are trying to bait me into things. Am I the fish or am I the whale? I must be calm. I must be zen. I must lead by example. There’s so many people looking up to me. How can I react in this way? I need to get a hold of this and I’m working very hard to do this. I’m taking the necessary steps to do this and I’m on a great trajectory.”

“I deserve to be called out on that behavior. It’s just unacceptable,” McGregor said of his behavior. “There’s no excuse to it. I deserve everything that comes my way with it.”

“I feel like sometimes I feed into it and I give it fuel,” McGregor said. “I’m in a position that not many fighters, very few, I can make this generational. I can either be rich and spoiled and blow it all in this generation and leave it all behind in ruins or I can get my head together and build it and make it generational. The children of my children’s children. If I have this opportunity before me, if I don’t execute this and get this right and make this happen for the children of my children’s children, all of my success, everything I have achieved will be void, it will be meaningless to me.

“I must get this right. I must not go down that path. The written path, the cliché of the fighter that has it all. I need to be aware of the past of other individuals and learn from it and grow and that’s what I’m doing. That’s what I’m working hard to do every single day.”

“I must get my head screwed on and just get back in the game and fight for redemption, retribution, respect. The things that made me the man I am and that’s what I will do.”


Initial Report: MMA Fighting

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