The Nevada State Athletic Commission may have gone too far and cost the state a truck load of money after UFC PPV star Conor McGregor threatened he may never fight in the fight capital of the world again.
Following an exorbitant $150,000 fine and 50 hours community service laid on by the NSAC following his water bottle throwing incident with Nate Diaz at the pre-fight press conference for UFC 202, McGregor has vowed never again to compete in Nevada according to UFC president Dana White.
Speaking on Fox Sports 1, White stated the decision would hurt Nevada way more than it’s going to hurt the UFC featherweight champion.
“I wasn’t thrilled about it when it happened, and we did the best we could to contain it at the time, but come on,” White said. “The other problem with that is Conor McGregor hit me yesterday and said, ‘I don’t ever want to fight in Nevada again. Ever.’ Now how does that make sense for the state of Nevada?
“That you’re going to try to fine this kid and Nate that much money, it just makes people not want to come fight in out state and that’s not a good thing. Guess what? Conor McGregor doesn’t need Nevada. He can fight anywhere. He can fight in Iowa. We can put his fight on an island off the coast of anywhere. This makes no sense for the state. It’s just terrible.”
Following the NSAC hearing this past Monday, McGregor had only with thing to say and that was to use the fine as way of sending a zinger to his past, present and future opponents on Twitter. “I get fined more than these bums get paid,” he posted.
However, privately it appears the Irishman was seething with the decision. And last night McGregor appeared to confirm it on Twitter by tagging the UFC president, copying an article leading to the statement and simply saying “Respect”.
So, if Las Vegas isn’t in the future plans to host McGregor super fights then where? There are three obvious choices:
New York – Madison Square Garden
McGregor is headlining the UFC’s debut event in MSG next month, UFC 205, when he takes on Eddie Alvarez to potentially become the first ever simultaneous two-weight UFC champion. With New York being the media capital of the world, a city full of American-Irish, not to mention a destination cheaper for his fans back home in Ireland to travel to, this makes the world of sense. If all his future UFC events were to take place in MSG, it’s unlikely many outside of Nevada would complain.
Boston – TD Garden
McGregor headlined UFC Fight Night 59 when he defeated Dennis Siver in the main event here and, like New York, it’s a city steeped in Irish history. With it also being UFC president Dana White’s home town, we’re sure he’d like to bring a McGregor blockbuster to the ‘other’ Garden. And, again, the cost effectiveness of traveling to Boston vs. Las Vegas would also play a key factor when considering McGregor’s loyal fans back home in Ireland.
Dublin – Croke Park
This seems to be the unicorn McGregor is chasing the most (maybe after the two weight champion goal). He’s long since wanted to headline another event back in his hometown of Dublin, Ireland, and talks of holding an event in Croke Park have been on the table. What’s stopped it in the past is obtaining a late night license from local government officials. The UFC just held an event in Manchester – UFC 205 – where the main event started at around 5am, and showcased a packed arena full of song, so pulling it off logistically seems to be very much capable by the UFC. This would be the only way to hold an event locally in Dublin without upsetting the main revenue driver – the north American pay-per-view market.