Two-weight UFC champion Conor McGregor has apologised for attempting to fight a referee at an MMA event in Dublin – although claimed he invaded the cage only to protect the health and safety of another fighter.
McGregor was attending the Bellator 187 event on Friday night to watch his team-mate Charlie Ward take on John Redmond. Moments after Ward had knocked out Redmond, McGregor leapt into the cage to celebrate with him.
Referee Mark Goddard tried to separate McGregor only to spark a melee by pushing him away.
McGregor then retaliated, running after Goddard and shouting and pointing at him before he was escorted out after appearing to slap an official.
On Tuesday, McGregor vowed to learn from his mistakes when posting the apology across his social media accounts.
“I sincerely apologise for my behaviour at last weekends fight event in Dublin. While trying to support a loyal teammate and friend, I let my emotions get the best of me and acted out of line,” said McGregor, who has not fought in the UFC since stopping Eddie Alvarez to capture the 155lb crown in November last year.
“As a multiple weight UFC champion, executive producer, role model and public figure, I must hold myself to a higher standard. The referee Marc Godard was making a horrendous decision in trying to pick an unconscious fighter up off the floor and force the fight to continue into the second round. Even against the wishes of the said fighters coach. The fight was over.
“After witnessing my fighter in a fight where the worst happened and the opponent passed away from his injuries on the night, I thought the worst was about to happen again, and I lost it and over reacted. I am sorry to everyone.”
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McGregor added: “I sincerely apologise to the Director of the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, Mike Mazzulli, all the officials and staff working the event, Andy Ryan and his fighter John, two stonch ones that put up a great fight every time. That side will always have my respect, and lastly every one of my fans. I love yous all!
“I’ve always learned from my mistakes and this will be no different.”