Many fans and pundits felt that Conor McGregor‘s insane rampage in Brooklyn, which crescendoed when the Irishman threw a dolly through the window of a bus, should have resulted in his being cut from the UFC. This, after all, is how the UFC responded when British welterweight Paul Daley punched Josh Koscheck after the bell in 2010.
In the end, of course, McGregor’s station as the biggest and most valuable star in MMA history assured that he received very little immediate kickback from the UFC — even if UFC President Dana White recently suggested McGregor might be punished down the road.
Surprisingly, Daley feels the UFC made the right choice in keeping McGregor around.
‘I’ve seen all the comparisons, and yeah, the whole situation, it was very similar, and Dana could come across as being a little hypocritical. But for me, it’s a different ballgame,” Daley said The MMA Hour this week (transcribed by Shaun Al-Shatti for MMA Fighting). “The UFC was in a different place then and it’s in a different place now, and a lot of where they are now is down to Conor McGregor. So if you’ve got someone bringing in money, and is raising the sport and your promotion to greater heights, then you can’t ban him for life because business is going to go bad for you. So I understand.”
“Yeah, really, he should be treated the same as I was,” Daley continued. “He should be banned for life. What he did as a guy with his profile in the sport and for the company of the UFC, he should be banned for life, if, for what I did, I got banned for life. But business and business and they need him, and I like Conor McGregor and I respect him, and I respect Dana’s choice. It’s a smart move.”
Paul Daley returns to action this weekend, when he battles Jon Fitch on the main card of Bellator 199.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/7/2018.