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notorious history Conor McGregor's top ten controversial moments

A star inside the octagon, the Notorious is no stranger to drama on the outside of the cage

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Conor McGregor at a Las Vegas press conference

Conor McGregor at a Las Vegas press conference

Conor McGregor at a Las Vegas press conference

Irish MMA superstar Conor McGregor is no stranger to controversy, whether it be in the run-up to a fight or with his shenanigans in-between bouts.

Nonetheless, his antics have helped propel the UFC, run by president Dana White, to a much wider audience, lining the coffers of the aforementioned octagon mogul’s pockets, as well as McGregors.

Whether grappling, more recently unsuccessfully, on the canvas, or duking it out with pugilist Floyd Mayweather in a big money showpiece boxing match, no one can deny, with his publicity stunts and frivolous showboating, with the odd punch thrown outside the octagon for good measure, the pint-sized fighter has that crowd-drawing chutzpah that promoters dream of.

SundayWorld.com takes a look at McGregor’s top ten most controversial moments… so far.

  • April 2018 McGregor vs bus

Before his ill-fated bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov, which he lost by submission in an uncomfortable sounding ‘neck crank’ in October of the same year, McGregor attacked a bus which Nurmagomedov and other MMA fighters were on as it left the Barclays Center in New York.

There had previously been no love lost between the pair, who’d engaged in trash talk in the lead up to the incident, conversations McGregor was keen to follow up on in the parking lot of the complex.

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McGregor throwing a trolley at a bus

McGregor throwing a trolley at a bus

McGregor throwing a trolley at a bus

Unable to gain entry to the slowly moving vehicle, McGregor acquired a nearby metal trolley, which he proceeded to hurl at the window of the bus, shattering the glass.

Two MMA fighters on board, Ray Borg and Michael Chiesa were injured by the glass, and an arrest warrant was issued by the NYPD after McGregor and his entourage hightailed it out of the building.

He later pleaded no contest to one count of disorderly conduct and was given five days community service and was ordered to attend anger management.

  • April 2019 McGregor vs random punter

Exactly one year after the trolley throwing incident in New York, the fighter found himself in trouble with the law again, this time in his native Dublin.

50-year-old Desmond Keough, who’d been enjoying a quiet drink at the Marble Arch pub, was approached by McGregor who wanted everyone to partake in a dram of his new inventively-named whiskey, Proper No 12.

Mr Keogh didn’t fancy it, and when McGregor insisted the punter try some, with Mr Keough again refusing, the fighter came to the conclusion the only course of action was to try and deck his potential future Proper No 12 convert, with his anger management course evidently having paid dividends.

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Proper No 12: You'll drink it and you'll like it

Proper No 12: You'll drink it and you'll like it

Proper No 12: You'll drink it and you'll like it

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The whole thing was caught on CCTV, and McGregor was ordered to pay a €1,000 fine, leading to the star issuing an apology.

The story took another twist after McGregor bought the pub, and allegedly barred Mr Keough from gracing its doors.

Following the purchase, and with McGregor having tweeted, ‘yeah, and yer man’s barred’, Mr Keogh said: “I wouldn’t want to be spending money in his pub to be honest.”

  • September 2021 McGregor vs white rapper

At the recent MTV Video Music Awards in the Barclays Center in New York, returning to the scene of his quarrel with a bus, McGregor allegedly got into a fracas with the ominously named rapper Machine Gun Kelly (whose real name is, anticlimactically, Colston Baker), who Notorious later branded a “little vanilla boy rapper”.

The pair were apparently separated by security guards, before McGregor spoke to entertainment tonight saying “nothing” happened between the pair.

When asked what transpired between the pair at the event, Notorious said: “Absolutely nothing. I don’t know. He showed up, and I don’t know. I don’t know the guy.

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Conor McGregor attended the VMAs with partner Dee Devlin but was apparently involved in a scuffle with US rapper Machine Gun Kelly (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Conor McGregor attended the VMAs with partner Dee Devlin but was apparently involved in a scuffle with US rapper Machine Gun Kelly (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Conor McGregor attended the VMAs with partner Dee Devlin but was apparently involved in a scuffle with US rapper Machine Gun Kelly (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

“Nothing happened with me, I only fight real fighters, people that actually fight, you know what I mean.

“I certainly don’t fight little vanilla boy rappers. I don’t even know the guy. I don’t know anything about him, except that he’s with Megan Fox.”

  • July 2018 McGregor vs the West

In July 2018, McGregor shared an Instagram post of himself at the World Cup final in the Luzhniki stadium in Russia, saying he’d been invited as a “guest” of semi-naked horse riding enthusiast, president Vladimir Putin.

The post caused controversy, as many commentators in the West look with scorn upon Putin’s apparent laissez-faire attitude towards things like human rights, freedom of the press and the contents of airport teapots.

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A controversial international luminary, fond of being photographed bare-chested, and Vladimir Putin

A controversial international luminary, fond of being photographed bare-chested, and Vladimir Putin

A controversial international luminary, fond of being photographed bare-chested, and Vladimir Putin

After being pictured with Putin, and sharing the pic on Instagram, McGregor posted: ‘Today I was invited to the World Cup final as a guest of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

‘This man is one of the greatest leaders of our time and I was honored to attend such a landmark event alongside him.

‘Today was an honor for me Mr. Putin. Thank you and congratulations on an amazing World Cup.’

  • July 2017 McGregor vs racism

Ahead of his showcase boxing match with one undefeated Floyd Mayweather, while grandstanding in typical fashion at a press conference, McGregor referred to his black opponent as “boy”.

The term itself carries serious racial undertones in the US, having been used during the country’s murky slave-era by white people to describe black men.

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Conor McGregor unsuccessfully took on Floyd Mayweather in 2017 (Lionel Hahn/PA)

Conor McGregor unsuccessfully took on Floyd Mayweather in 2017 (Lionel Hahn/PA)

Conor McGregor unsuccessfully took on Floyd Mayweather in 2017 (Lionel Hahn/PA)

It was adopted after the dark period of the USA’s history by white-supremacist types, so when McGregor was heard saying to Mayweather, “dance for me, boy”, while taunting the man who was to go on and hand out a stern lesson to the MMA specialist in the art of punching people in the face, it wasn’t received very well.

Whether McGregor was aware of the connotations associated with using the word ‘boy’ is anyone’s guess, however one minute into the tenth round of his clash with Mayweather, it was pretty clear who the ‘man’ was.

  • November 2017 McGregor vs the referee

After McGregor’s pal and SBG teammate Charlie Ward downed his opponent John Redmond at Bellator 187 in Dublin, an overexcited Conor, who was not an official corner man of Ward’s, somehow traversed the cage before confronting the referee, Marc Goddard.

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Conor McGregor argues with referee Marc Goddard after Charlie Ward's first round knockout of John Redmond at Bellator 187. Credit: Bellator MMA Twitter.

Conor McGregor argues with referee Marc Goddard after Charlie Ward's first round knockout of John Redmond at Bellator 187. Credit: Bellator MMA Twitter.

Conor McGregor argues with referee Marc Goddard after Charlie Ward's first round knockout of John Redmond at Bellator 187. Credit: Bellator MMA Twitter.

Officials held the Notorious back as he bounded around the octagon like a man possessed, before he allegedly slapped one of the commissioners.

Redmond actually wanted to continue the fight, but the powers that be decided it was probably best not to after McGregor’s impromptu performance.

  • October 2017 McGregor vs the LGBT+ community

McGregor was forced to apologise after he came under fire for using the term ‘f****t’, a homophobic slur, while being recorded talking with his teammate Artem Lobov, in a post fight conversation after Lobov had been defeated.

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McGregor apologised on the Late Late Show for using a homophobic slur

McGregor apologised on the Late Late Show for using a homophobic slur

McGregor apologised on the Late Late Show for using a homophobic slur

While appearing on RTE’s Late Late Show with Ryan Tubridy, the fighter apologised, telling Tubs: “I was whispering in his ear and I was speaking on that and I said what I said. I meant no disrespect to nobody of the LGBT community. I didn’t mean no disrespect. You’d swear I was screaming at two people of the same sex kissing. I campaigned when we were trying to get same-sex marriage legalised, I was campaigning for that.

“It is another one where things just get blown out and they love to just... any chance they get they love to throw me under the bus. It is what it is. I’ll just say sorry for what I said and that’s it and try to move on from it.”

  • November 2017 McGregor vs Rules of the Road

Shortly after his appearance on the Late Late Show, McGregor was stopped on the Old County Road in Crumlin accused of driving minus a license or insurance.

He was also accused of failing to provide a license, insurance documents or proof of motor tax to gardaí within ten days.

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We didn't have a picture of McGregor driving a car, so here's a picture of him driving a stretcher

We didn't have a picture of McGregor driving a car, so here's a picture of him driving a stretcher

We didn't have a picture of McGregor driving a car, so here's a picture of him driving a stretcher

He was summoned by gardaí to appear at Dublin District Court for the offence but managed to duck prosecution.

A lawyer acting on behalf of the Notorious later produced the documents in court.

  • March 2019 McGregor vs mobile phone

On March 11, 2019, McGregor was arrested in Miami Beach, Florida, after an alleged altercation with a man outside the Fontainebleau Hotel.

During the incident, he was alleged to have taken a fan’s mobile phone, smashing it on the ground.

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McGregor's mugshot after his Miami arrest

McGregor's mugshot after his Miami arrest

McGregor's mugshot after his Miami arrest

He was arrested and charged with strong-armed robbery and a misdemeanor clearly named with McGregor in mind; criminal mischief.

He was held and later released on a bond of $5,000.

The fan also launched a civil lawsuit against the Notorious, but the case was later dropped after reports an out-of-court settlement was reached.

  • 10 August 2016 McGregor vs water bottles

During a press conference with Nate Diaz, famed for shocking the MMA world by beating McGregor by submission in March of the same year after being called in at the last minute to fight the Irishman at the MGM Grand, with just two weeks to prepare after Rafael dos Anjos pulled out having broken his foot, a melee erupted.

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It's thought the Notorious prefers sparkling water

It's thought the Notorious prefers sparkling water

It's thought the Notorious prefers sparkling water

With both sides shouting insults, team members began hurling plastic water bottles at each other, apparently opting for a missile bearing a similar impact damage profile to the favoured projectile of the English football hooligan; the plastic chair.

Following the pre-watershed style mini-riot, the Nevada Athletic Commission hit McGregor with a $25,000 fine. He was also given 25 hours of community service, presumably mopping up the mess.

Diaz was also handed a $15,000 fine and given 15 hours community service.

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