While the story that the UFC removed Conor McGregor from UFC 219 over his actions at a recent Bellator event sounds dubious at best, it does appear that the uproar in its wake has driven their lightweight champion to issue a formal apology.
Conor McGregor scaled the cage at Bellator 187, following teammate Charlie Ward’s potential TKO win (later officially a TKO win) over John Redmond. The UFC superstar scuffled with event officials as he attempted to celebrate Ward’s victory in-cage. Most notably shoving referee Marc Goddard, who had recently admonished McGregor for his cage-side theatrics during Artem Lobov’s loss to Andre Fili at UFC Gdansk.
The incident drew the ire of pundits and regulatory bodies alike. Association of Boxing Commissions president Mike Mazzulli issued a public statement speaking against the fighter’s actions. Mazzulli later stated that the UFC had spoken to him with assurances that McGregor’s behavior would be penalized (including his removal from UFC 219).
Whether or not more punitive measures will be taken remains to be seen, but for his part, McGregor issued an apology for his behavior over Instagram. McGregor has since edited the post, but here’s the original (h/t Seán Sheehan):
The UFC have recently been in talks with McGregor over a potential title unification bout with Tony Ferguson. The Irishman has made public declarations that his return to the promotion should involve a stake in its ownership. The potential work in hammering out such a deal between promoter and fighter seem more likely to be behind any delay in McGregor’s return to the Octagon for the immediate future.