Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor “regrets” being involved in a brawl at a UFC media event which left several other mixed martial arts fighters injured.
The 29-year-old appeared briefly before a New York court yesterday morning in relation to the incident at the Barclays Centre in the city on April 5.
The court heard that McGregor, along with fellow MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighter Cian Cowley (25), had not yet been indicted by a grand jury and that plea negotiations were ongoing. The matter was adjourned until July 26, when the court proceedings are expected to be finalised.
Speaking outside the Kings County Courthouse in Brooklyn after the court sitting, McGregor said: “I regret my actions that led me here today. I understand the seriousness of this matter, and I am hopeful that it gets resolved soon.”
He arrived shortly before 10am with an entourage of security, along with Cowley.
The group then entered the courthouse, where the hearing lasted all of a minute.
The prosecutor for Kings County, Janet Gleeson, told the court: “There are plea negotiations. The case is back on July 26.” A number of orders of protection, issued against McGregor and Cowley in relation to interacting with injured parties or witnesses in the case, also remains in place.
It is highly unlikely that either McGregor or Cowley will face jail terms, although both men may have to take part in community service as part of the plea deal.
McGregor seemed relaxed after his court appearance, going for a cycle with his family around Central Park and enjoying a picnic. The Crumlin native plans on staying in New York for several days. He is staying at the exclusive Mandarin Oriental Hotel where suites cost in excess of $3,300 (€2,800) a night.
Sources say McGregor and his entourage had planned to hold a private party in New York after the court case, but cancelled as the case is still ongoing.
Speaking outside court, McGregor’s manager Audie Attar said: “Today we are focusing on the court and we are not going to focus on any future plans until we handle this matter. Right now, we are in good negotiations with the district attorney.”
Ira Judelson, McGregor and Cowley’s bail bondsman, said that the two-time UFC champion seems “more relieved” than when he first appeared in court.
The two MMA athletes presented at the bond office near the court building immediately after their court appearance, where they sign on as part of their bond conditions. McGregor is on a $50,000 bond while Cowley is on a $25,000 bond.
“Conor had to come in and check in. He’s been responsible for me since the first time that he got arrested. He’s been doing everything great, his management team let me know where he’s going at all times.
“Same thing with Cian. He came in and signed his [checking] card, Cian signed his card and the next court date is July 26,”
During the bizarre melee at the Barclays Centre in April, a number of fighters attending a media conference for UFC 223 were injured after McGregor allegedly threw a trolley at a bus, smashing the window and causing cuts to a number of athletes.
A large portion of the incident was captured on camera, and shows ‘The Notorious’ shouting ‘Come on, you mad rat’ as he attempts to confront UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Court documents show that McGregor is facing 22 counts including menacing with a weapon, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, attempted assault and assault.