This was news that came from Mike Mazzulli, who is the president of the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC) and is also the director of the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation (MTDAR), which was the lead regulator of the Bellator 187 event.
With Mazzulli’s role as the lead regulator of the event and sitting at the top of the ABC, he told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour that UFC executives called him within two hours of McGregor’s kerfuffle inside the Bellator cage with referee Marc Goddard and a Bellator staff member. Mazzulli said he commended the UFC “to some extent” for taking it upon themselves to sanction their superstar for his behavior.
However, McGregor’s agent, Audie Attar, told MMA Fighting that what Mazzulli said was “not true.” Attar would not respond to whether or not McGregor had plans of fighting on the December 30 card. MMA Fighting stated that McGregor was “never officially scheduled to fight at UFC 219.”
Despite the differences in what Mazzulli and Attar have to say about McGregor’s schedule, Mazzulli said that the behavior of the UFC lightweight champion was unacceptable.
“There’s a zero tolerance for that,” Mazzulli said. “That’s why I said when you are a professional at that level, you have to handle yourself as a professional. There’s a lot of people that are looking up to you and respecting you as an individual, as a fighter. Don’t get me wrong, Conor McGregor is a great, great fighter. I’ve watched every single fight of his and that’s what I do, this is my job. But when it comes to what he did to Mr. Goddard and [Bellator employee] Michael Johnson, what would possess somebody to do that? Like I said, if it was at Mohegan, I guarantee you that the Mohegan Tribe Police Department would be removing Mr. Conor. There’s no doubt in my mind.”
Mazzulli said that he will have a better idea of what he can do as far as punishment at Mohegan Sun in about a week and a half.
“Mr. McGregor is not bigger than MMA,” Mazzulli added. “We all know that. Mr. McGregor may not be around in five years, but MMA will still be. I think that is very important to understand, that fighter safety is the most important thing in the world. Because without fighter safety, this sport would not proceed to the next level like it always has.”
Perhaps an apology was a good idea?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 11/14/2017.