Dana White Addresses Conor McGregor Incident at Barclay’s Center Ahead of UFC 223, Says Lobov Off Card

UFC President MMA Dana White Greg Hardy
Dana White Credit: Mike Sloan/Sherdog.com

Artem Lobov has been pulled from the UFC 223 card after Thursday’s incident at the Barclay’s Center, which saw Conor McGregor and members of his entourage attack a bus packed with fellow fighters.

Thursday’s UFC 223 media day did not go according to plan. That’s without question. What is in question is what, exactly, will happen next. To recap, dual-weight champion Conor McGregor (though now stripped of both titles) showed up unannounced at the Barclay’s Center on Thursday, just as fighters were leaving the arena. The UFC’s biggest star, and his entourage, somehow got in the building, and went on a rampage, attacking a bus packed with fighters and injuring lightweight Michael Chiesa.

Speaking to media at the arena (via MMA Junkie, transcription by Cageside Press), White laid out exactly what went down.

“Connor and approximately twenty guys apparently were let in through the doors, by the Mac Life guys, who were credentialed here,” he explained. That would refer to themaclife.com — McGregor’s official web presence. “They opened the doors for them, through an entrance, they stormed the building. Got down to the loading docks where the fighters were getting on the buses, and started to attack the buses, throwing trash cans, dollies. Broke one of the windows, cut Michael Cheiesa really bad, cut his head, cut his face.”

“Rose Namajunas was almost hit,” he continued, “she’s super upset right now, basically left and walked back to the hotel.” White also noted that an employee was injured, saying that in the chaos, the mob had “broke one of our employee’s knuckles” and caused other injuries. “Obviously everybody is shaken up when 30 guys storm [in]” he finished.

Calling the incident “the most disgusting thing that has ever happened in the history of the company” White indicated that there is a warrant out for McGregor.  “They’re looking for him right now. His plane cannot take off, he cannot leave the state of New York with this warrant, they’ll be grounded. I’m assuming eventually If they don’t catch him, he’ll turn himself in.”

Cageside Press spoke with NYPD officials, who would only confirm that the incident was being looked into.

White continued, saying that “you can imagine, he’s going to be sued beyond belief, so this was a real bad career move for him.”

As to why it happened, like many, White assumes it was due to a confrontation earlier in the week in which McGregor’s teammate, Artem Lobov, was mobbed by Khabib Nurmagomedov and his entourage. “He’s got some beef with Khabib, because of the Artem thing that went down,” White said. Still, “you don’t come into the Barclay’s Center and attack people that are in a bus that are fighting the next day. And the worst part is the women that were on the bus. They’re fighters, Rose is a fighter, Karolina is a fighter. But these goons are throwing bike racks and chairs and things like that through the windows of the bus and didn’t care who they hit or who hurt.”

“We’re disgusted with him right now. Completely disgusted” he said of Conor McGregor. In addition, Artem Lobov is off the card, meaning his fight with Alex Caceres is off.

White also confirmed McGregor was actively involved in the attack, throwing things. “I don’t know if he’s on drugs or what his deal is,” the UFC President said of the company’s biggest star, who appears to be in open revolt. “You’re talking about a guy who has a baby, he just had a kid.”

Update, as of 4:50 PM ET: There’s no arrest warrant out for McGregor, per NYPD.